Botswana: Assertion No Threat

Davos-Klosters — The assertion that Botswana is no longer a democratic governance "oasis in the desert" will never work against the country's quest to attract investors, says President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.

He told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that Botswana was happy it was no longer the unique feature of democratic governance which helped sharpen its focus on competitiveness.

"The reality is that we still remain the leaders in the pack. We have been the most stable for long and shall remain so for longer. Talk of sustainability, return for investment, reliability, predictability, Botswana seems a very natural choice," he said.

Dr Masisi said Botswana had other comparative advantages such as its location in the middle of southern Africa, housing SADC headquarters, cordial relations with neighbouring states with access to the sea and a youthful population.

"We are also a signatory to the African Free Trade Agreement and are digitising," President Masisi stated.

Meanwhile President Masisi was on Tuesday a panelist on Africa Growth Platform (AGP), a WEF initiative launched last year to help African startups grow and compete in international markets.

The programme is expected to help create jobs for a continent with nearly two thirds of 420 million young people unemployed as well as 100 million Small Micro Medium Enterprises across the continent.

President Masisi said the initiative was a welcome development.

Africa, he stated, needed partners in the mould of WEF.

To maximise benefits derived from the initiative, he said, African governments had to put into place necessary policy frameworks, regulations and guidelines to ensure prudent resource management.

UNAIDS executive director Ms Winnie Byanyima said Africa Rainbow Energy and Power the programme would bring hope to Africa's unemployed young people.

She challenged African leaders to ensure the youth did not miss out on the opportunity.

"I am especially happy that the programme focuses on small businesses, which sustain livelihoods in most African states," she said.

Another panelist, Mr Sipho Pityana of AngloGold Ashanti and Business Unity South Africa, decried low intra-trade in Africa but was hopeful it would be bolstered by the African Free Trade Agreement.

Mr Brian Domes, Africa Rainbow Energy and Power chief executive office called on the political leadership to create an enabling environment for the thriving of youth development and sustenance initiatives.

"It is going to be the youth that drive transformation in Africa. Governments and leaders only need to lend the youth support in the form of infrastructure, policy frameworks, stability and must collaborate with the private sector to ensure a win-win situation," he said.WEF, ending tomorrow, is held under the theme: "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World".

Source : BOPA

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