Africa: U.S. - Africa Business Summit Successful

Maputo — Some top notch executives and leading captains of the business world who attended the just-ended 12th US - Africa Business Summit in Maputo, Mozambique have lauded Botswana for making great strides in its quest to find its footing within the global business space.

The summit, hosted by Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the government of Mozambique, brought together more than 1 000 US and African private sector executives.

Attendants also included international investors as well as senior government officials, who engaged on key sectors including ICT, agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, and many others to explore new business opportunities and possible areas of cooperation.

Held under the theme: Advancing a Resilient and Sustainable US - Africa Partnership, the forum also served as a platform to advocate for effective US - Africa trade and investment policies.

Botswana's High Commissioner to Mozambique, Mr Gobe Pitso relayed to BOPA in an interview on Friday that the high profile summit would go down history as one of the most successful for Botswana.

"A couple of distinguished multinational corporations showed great interest in meeting up with Botswana on the sidelines of the summit," he said.

He said for instance that a day prior to the commencement of the three-day summit, an international medical group namely, Grupo San Donato from Italy met the Botswana delegation, which engagement saw the two parties immediately flying to Gaborone to further explore possible areas of cooperation within the health sector.

Also, Mr Pitso stated that Botswana was able to have a conversation with Power Africa, whose initiative was to scale up access to electricity in Africa.

The company primary interest was to harness bountiful solar energy in Botswana and Namibia so that the two neighbouring SADC member states may not only be self-sufficient with regard to electricity, but that they duo may ultimately export power to other parts of Africa.

Meanwhile, Mr Pitso also called on Batswana to widen their business scope and tap into the limitless business opportunities that exist in Mozambique such as tourism and agriculture.

Botswana International Trade Centre chief executive officer, Mr Keletsositse Olebile was also upbeat about the positive feedback and interest showed by prospective investors on some of the 'made in Botswana' products displayed at the summit.

"We brought along with us a number of products from Botswana to show case to investors and the business community here and the response was more than encouraging.

Majority of the people who visited our stall were left spell-bound by the quality of many of our products among them; chocolates, lubricants and indeed Botswana's flagship Ecco beef," he said.

Many he said, were positioning themselves to make follow-ups with the intention to forge a partnership with Botswana companies; a welcome development he said would help push the commodities in question far and wide.

The ball, according to Mr Olebile, was on Batswana's court to leverage on programmes made available to them by the government through BITC, in particular, the Botswana Export Development programme, to push through their products to the international market.

Moreover, Mr Olebile was over the moon with the huge prospect brought about by the recently signed continental free trade agreement, which he hailed as a step in the right direction that was going to spur trade and growth among African states.

Corporate Council on Africa's president, who also doubles as the chief executive officer, Ms Florizelle Liser also waxed lyrical about the huge potential Botswana had shown over the years, thanks to the good policies in place.

Ms Liser said in an interview that she was salivating at the prospects of the day Botswana would export its tasty organic meat to the US market.

Source : BOPA

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