Mmegi Online :: Mosienyane, Ebrahim differ on NBC’s feats
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Friday 07 December 2018, 14:23 pm.
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Mosienyane, Ebrahim differ on NBC’s feats

FRANCISTOWN: Business Botswana (BB) president, Lekwalo Mosienyane has hailed the 14th National Business Conference (NBC) as a success that had brought the right people together including President Ian Khama.
By Ryder Gabathuse Chakalisa Dube Fri 16 Sep 2016, 16:15 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Mosienyane, Ebrahim differ on NBC’s feats








He was elated that the just-ended three-day NBC had brought most government ministers and key permanent secretaries, and the private sector’s top echelons under one roof to discuss pertinent issues, albeit mainly during the opening on Sunday.

However, his predecessor, Iqbal Ebrahim has a contrasting view and came closer to describing NBC as a mere talk shop for its failure to live up to its expected reputation. He is steadfast that the NBC has failed to deliver according to expectations.

Most importantly, Mosienyane was elated that the conference hall was full from the first day to the final one, which according to him depicts that people meant business.

“The attitude and attendance depicted the enthusiasm that is still there to make changes we need in our economic setup,” he said, adding that people said what they felt and thought, and spoke their minds.

Mosienyane further hailed the genuineness and honesty of people as they debated issues denying that there was any finger-pointing, which is often the source of mistrust amongst people.

He noted that when he assumed office there was perception that he and his colleagues from the private sector were a bunch of tenderpreneurs closer to the ruling elite destined to destroy BB.

“When I came into office I wanted people to be voted into office by association at BB so that the people who have brought us in can make their decisions freely.”

Mosienyane also noted that Investment, Trade and Industry minister, Vincent Seretse was, “very good and very happy with everything. His criticism will help us build better relationships”. He denied accusations that over the years the NBC had become more like a talk shop without any results to show.

“This was not an event, but

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it’s the beginning of another two years. Those who do not know, Local Entreprise Authority (LEA), Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), High Level Consultative Conference (HLCC) and Public Entreprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) came about as a result of the NBC resolutions,” he said.

He indicated that Botswana is probably one of the few countries where the government and private sector conference is chaired by the state president.

He said although he was happy that the government has done something with the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL), the worry was that government has sold only 49%, which leaves the government to remain in the majority and total control. “As the private sector, we wanted the controlling stake,” he said, noting that on power-generation, the government can generate power, but also allow the private sector to supply the electricity on its behalf. Meanwhile, former BB president, Ebrahim holds a contrasting view to that of Mosienyane on the just-ended NBC.

“In my personal opinion, I believe that the NBC has not tellingly delivered.  For the past 28 years the conference has raised similar issues. There seem to be no concerted effort from both the government and the private sector to find solutions to problems raised during conferences. The trend has to change,” he said, adding that both the government and private sector have resorted to the blame game during meetings.

Ebrahim added that he would like to see a significant involvement of various government ministers at the NBC so that they hear the plight of the business community at first-hand.

He said that ministers as key decision-makers can only take well-informed decisions to address the problems of the business community when they have first-hand information.

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