Barclays Bank Botswana has partnered with Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) to improve local governments’ operating environment. The bank has organised a three-day Investment Pitso to be held next week in Francistown, a platform it will use to identify local governments’ operational bottlenecks, liquidity constraints and help foster mutually beneficial cooperation between the public and private sectors.
About 250 delegates, who include councillors and economic planners, are expected to attend the workshop. According to the bank’s Head of Public Sector Corporate Banking, Phemelo Moleofe, Barclays Bank would present possible opportunities and solutions, and invite experts from South Africa to share their knowledge with delegates. “We have engaged our group expertise from South Africa to deliberate on various critical topical issues that will expose the local government to a new thought process,” she said. She added that local governments would be given free advisory services and funding.
Moleofe also said they also wanted to develop a one stop shop for liquidity management, transactional and infrastructural development funding. She noted that they have conducted comparative analysis of the South African market and Botswana jurisdictional legal landscape and identified some bottlenecks, which would improve soon. Moleofe further said they wanted to trigger interest from investors, in order to enhance liquidity in local government. “We also intend to provide an enabling ground for efficient service in Local government space as well as empower local government to provide solution driven and customer centric service,” she said.
Barclays has expressed its intent to play a pivotal role in the development of local government’s landscape, through identification of operational bottlenecks, liquidity constraints, and through fostering mutually beneficial cooperation between the public and private sector. This partnership is expected to help Barclays unleash investment potential since the bank has positioned itself as a government think tank in the provision of project finance solution and advisory service.
BALA president Mpho Moruakgomo said the workshop would notable help unlock investment opportunities in the country. “Building capacity at local level is critical as you unlock the potential at the grassroots level. This will also help us tackle issues of Private Public Partnerships,” he said. He added that they had partnered with Mascom, Metropolitan Botswana, National Development Bank and University of Botswana, to offer councillors training. The partnership is part of government’s effort to encourage local authorities to drive economic development, growth and become self-sustainable.