FRANCISTOWN: The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) helped boost the Francistown economy by helping create nearly 600 jobs during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, statistics unveiled recently have shown.
The creation of additional jobs is welcome news to the economy of Francistown, which has been struggling over the last few years.
Francistown city mayor, Godisang Radisigo shared the figures during an ordinary full council meeting, which began on Monday this week and is expected to end today (Friday). In total, the agency funded 406 Francistown businesses during the 2020-2021 financial year.
The combined value of the money used to fund the businesses was slightly above P34 million according to the mayor.
“The funding by CEDA has meant that 769 jobs were maintained and 570 additional jobs were created. This is a massive boost to the city’s economy,” Radisigo said in his address.
The service sector, which covers general dealers, transport ventures and tuck shops, dominated the number of businesses that benefited from CEDA during the 2020-2021 financial year.
“The service sector accounted for 306 businesses that were funded by the agency with money amounting to slightly over P25 million,” noted the mayor.
He added the manufacturing sector, which the council and other city authorities believe has the potential to help the economy of the city to grow, did not perform comparatively well. Thirty-one businesses from the manufacturing sector were funded
“The manufacturing sector had businesses that cover brick moulding, bakery and textile,” the mayor said. Of the 406 beneficiaries, 198 were youth. In total 282 women were funded by the agency while 258 beneficiaries were men.
The property sector accounted for P3 million of the P34 million that CEDA used to fund businesses in the city. In addition, according to Radisigo, the property sector was made up of two entities.
A total of 67 businesses from the Agri-business were funded with money close to P524,000. The sector featured businesses such as poultries, horticulture and cattle breeding.
Meanwhile, the mayor also told the council that so far 1,310 people have benefited from the Informal Sector Stimulus Fund.
The Local Enterprise Authority has been tasked with disbursing the fund, which in Francistown totalled P37 million to the informal sector in the form of a P1,000 once-off grant. He said that 1,556 businesses have also registered for the initiatives.
“The initiative was hampered by poor response to initial registration calls, high turn up of registrants over the past two months and high number of applicants given the COVID-19 compliance protocols,” Radisigo said.