Botswana: Citizen Empowerment Efforts Heightened

Gaborone — As part of efforts to empower citizen-owned businesses, government has made a pronouncement that all government and State Owned Entities (SOE) will procure goods and services from such businesses in their regions.

Speaking during the launch of the momentous initiative, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President, Ms Emmah Peloetletse said the move was expected to resuscitate the SMME sector, after being negatively affected by COVID-19 and resultant lockdowns.

"We are responding to concerns from citizens and businesses and as government, we want to give assurance to local businesses that we will be fully supportive of the empowerment of SMMEs, hence the reason we are here today," she said.

Ms Peloetletse said the initiative would also increase SMMEs' participation in public procurement, through market access opportunities, resulting in SMME sector growth, employment creation, import substitution and economic diversification, especially in the rural areas.

"In order for the country's economy to be sustained, we need to empower our people through intense citizen participation," she concluded.

The CEO of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Dr Racious Moatshe said the organisation would identify the capacity development needs of SMMEs operating in various parts of the country, with the intention to address their challenges and transform their businesses into innovative, competitive and sustainable businesses.

He added that LEA had also been assigned to lead the national project, including the monitoring of its implementation and progress.

He said LEA would work in partnership with stakeholder institutions such as Office of the President, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, as well as the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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