SEZA, Local Authorities Collaborate On Development

SEZA CEO Lonely Mogara
SEZA CEO Lonely Mogara

The Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) and local authorities across the country have joined forces on a project that aims to improve the ease of doing business in Botswana.

One of the objectives of the project includes boosting investment at a local level and fast-tracking the development of Botswana’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The collaborative effort, dubbed The Mayors Forum, was established in recognition of the vital role that local authorities play in infrastructure development; as they grant approvals for planning, building and occupation permit applications.

Local authorities also grant approvals for industrial licenses for manufacturing companies. SEZA chief executive officer (CEO) Lonely Mogara said the authority has begun the process of ring-fencing SEZs' reform through engagements with various government ministries adding that collaborating with local authorities will bring about the much-needed transformation in the areas where SEZs are located and ultimately within the national economy. “The Mayors Forum was birthed in an effort to identify and provide solutions to possible barriers inhibiting the doing-business environment,” Mogara said.

Expected outcomes include shared action towards inspiring change in the environment for doing business as well as achieving efficiency and competitiveness in businesses operating within the SEZs.

In addition, Mogara said the initial efforts will be geared at engaging the local government in areas that host SEZA’s eight SEZs in Gaborone, Lobatse, Selebi-Phikwe, Palapye, Francistown, Pandamatenga and Tuli Block. “The authority has identified local authorities as critical partners. A good working relationship with local authorities is the special ingredient required for the efficient facilitation of SEZ investors, which will lead to their competitiveness and ultimate growth,” the CEO said.

Last week, the forum elected Francistown mayor Godisang Rasesigo as the founding chairperson. The forum will also include the executive leadership of all city, town and district councils; among them mayors, city or council chairpersons, town clerks and district commissioners.

Editor's Comment
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