Gaborone — Retailers and other established businesses have been called upon to provide adequate space for displaying locally produced goods.
The call was made by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi at the official opening of the 60th Sefalana Shopper located at Setlhoa business enclave in Gaborone November 19.
By so doing, they would be promoting and boosting local businesses, he said.
Government, he said, was playing its part in encouraging private sector growth and economic diversification noting that some laws and policies were currently being reviewed in an endeavour to create a conducive environment for business to thrive.
Furthermore, Dr Masisi said government intended to leverage on Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) to give citizens an opportunity to set up industries, grow and create the much needed jobs.
He said ongoing EDD strategy review would close existing gaps in the economy.
President Masisi said empowering the private sector would help in achieving the goals of the citizen economic empowerment programme.
President Masisi said efforts made by companies such as Sefalana Group of Companies in diversifying, growing and sustaining the economy must be supported by government and other stakeholders.
Hence the planned establishment of a new ministry dedicated to small businesses enterprises, he said.
President Masisi noted that the company, which had been in operation for 45 years, had expanded to Namibia and South Africa.
He said this year alone, the company made profits of N$90 million and over R100 million in Namibia and South Africa respectively which were repatriated.
"The benefits accrued by the company do not only benefit the owners and the employees but also go a long way in benefiting the entire nation," said President Masisi.
Through its Botswana Stock Exchange listing, Dr Masisi said the company had accorded other local companies and individuals the opportunity to buy its shares.
At 42 per cent, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund is the company's largest shareholder, followed by Motor Vehicle Accident Fund with 11 per cent and Debswana Pension Fund at 10 per cent.
Meanwhile company board chairperson Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe has said the newly opened branch was the group's largest retail store with a staff complement of 3 100 of which 99.6 per cent were locals.
The company, he said, was determined to support locally produced goods and services adding that 16 main vegetable products were supplied by 30 regular farmers.
So far 70 per cent of the new store's vegetables were supplied by local farmers, he said.
Source : BOPA