Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse has stated that the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) has recorded a cumulative total purchase amounting to over P15 billion worth of goods and services since its inception five years ago.
From this amount, over P7 billion represents purchases from local manufactures and service providers, as at the end of January this year, a cumulative value of over P2 billion worth of purchases were recorded for the financial year 2014/2015.
When presenting the Committee of Supply statement to Parliament this week, Seretse said EDD was a government policy aimed at promoting production and consumption of locally produced goods and services. “EDD has registered about 1150 enterprises since 2010 that have been issued EDD licenses. Out of these 425 are manufactures, 702 are service providers and 23 are agricultural producers,” he said. Seretse further said injection had created a total of 34 861 jobs. He also highlighted that government availed 1000 straws of sexed semen in January this year, under the dairy sector for sale to farmers at subsidiased prices, with intention to increase the dairy herd.
In addition, some of the unutilised farms had been leased out to dairy farmers across the country. On the development of the textile and clothing sector, the minister said that the interim support measure which was accorded to the sector from October 2013 to September last year through the Special Support Programme has ended. “A total of P12 million was used to support 38 firms and sustained over 2 900 jobs. With regard to the development of the leather sector, a bankable feasibility study for establishment of a Leather Park at Lobatse is ongoing and it is expected to create more than 5000 jobs when fully operational,” he added. Seretse further pointed out that this financial year, they had planned to create 5585 jobs, and would probably increase to 8000 in the next financial year.
Meanwhile, three Enterprises Competitiveness projects are being implemented. One of them is the Tokafala Programme, a collaboration between Anglo American and the Botswana Government. The programme aims to increase levels of productivity in the local SMME’s sector by leveraging on existing programmes in Botswana. “The Private Sector Development Programme, supported by the European Union, Centre for Development of Enterprises (CDE) and Chanel Corporate Foundation was launched in November to benefit 100 SMME’s including 30 micro enterprises and Community Based Organisations (CBO),” said Seretse.
Value chains for the beef, morula and honey sectors have also been completed.