The Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Peggy Serame has urged local producers to improve quality of their goods and services in order for them to be competitive in the domestic, regional and international markets.
She also implored them to continuously improve the quality and the standards which include amongst others labelling, packaging and coding of their products.
“The number of retailers supporting this initiative has increased significantly compared to last year. This is a welcome development and we would like to encourage those lagging behind to catch up with the pace-setters,” the minister said at a #PushaBW forum last week.
Serame revealed that hotels are committed to sourcing from local producers for food stuffs and other goods that include beds, bed linens, cosmetics amongst others.
In the retail sector, she added there has been an increase in shelf space for local products in shops.
“I commend businesses in the hospitality sector who have demonstrated unwavering support to the #PushaBw initiative. I am informed that they are proposing to host market days to showcase locally manufactured products and also availing permanent kiosks in their hotel lobbies for BITC to facilitate identification of Pride Mark users who can permanently make use of the kiosk to display and sell their products at the hotels,” she added.
The #PushaBw initiative was launched in 2018, as a campaign to rally Batswana and all residents to make conscious decisions to buy locally
The campaign is also aimed at improving the productive capacity of local producers, which contributes to creation of more employment opportunities. In addition the campaign is intended to encourage retail stores to carry locally produced goods and services.
To date, through the PushaBw campaign, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has supported over 143 companies by enabling their participation at local and international exhibitions. In addition, over 115 companies have been profiled on BITC social media platforms to further expose them to domestic and international markets.
Serame further said the current import bill compels locals to refocus and revamp production for our own food security, medical supplies security and self-sustenance.
“This calls us to step efforts for the production and consumption of local products and services which will have a trickling effect of creating jobs,” she said.
In an effort to encourage consumption of locally produced goods and ensure market access, Serame said they will put in place relevant and targeted support measures that promote the expansion of locally made products and services. According to Serame, they are cognisant of obligations under the bilateral and multilateral agreements “which we are party to.”