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Over P19m spent on summit

13 Aug 2023

About P19 million was spent in hosting the 15th US-Africa Business Summit held in July 11 to 14

Making a statement before Parliament last week, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Beauty Manake said close to P500 000 worth of sales were recorded by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) during the summit. 

Ms Manake outlined the benefits of hosting the summit in collaboration with Business Botswana and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

She said of the P19 million, government availed P8.2 million while the rest was sourced from the private sector and corporates in Botswana.

The assistant minister said government received positive feedback about the summit both locally and internationally. 

She said, “where government and the private sector collaborates the results are immeasurable.”

Further, she said almost all the products and services used during the four-day summit were sourced locally. 

She also said although they initially expected 1 000 delegates, the final list showed 1 331 participants from all over the world. 

She added that 42 countries participated with 552 delegates from Botswana, followed by 169 from the US.

“It was important to have more Batswana participating to benefit from the networking and business opportunities brought to their door step to build partnerships and learn from their peers,” she said.

Other African countries, Ms Manake said, had 67 delegates from South Africa, 51 from Nigeria, Zimbabwe 38, Mozambique 37, Kenya 26, eSwatini 23 and Zambia 22.

“It will be remiss to not mention that alongside the summit, local and international business, as well as government to business meetings were facilitated to allow more in-depth discussions on possible areas of investment and collaborations to enhance value chain development as the theme of the conference alluded,” she said.

Additionally, she said investment opportunities were identified by government and that they continued to pursue them. 

Ms Manake said it was necessary to develop value chains across all sectors including health, mining and manufacturing.

“As we speak some companies are already on the ground on fact finding missions to learn more on the opportunities availed during the summit and seeking facilitation to establish business partnerships in the country,” the assistant minister said.

She said the summit also accorded SMEs an opportunity to showcase locally produced goods and services under the #PushaBW banner. Through the BW market place (PushaBW), she said 40 local manufacturers or producers from different parts of the country managed to showcase their products and services adding that other sectors that benefitted from the summit were the creatives, tourism and transport sectors.

“Our SMEs continue to work on orders placed during the summit to the international market. We believe that our local businesses will continue to tap on the market access opportunity opened for them and we will continue to facilitate and encourage them to carry on improving product and service quality as well as adopting and availing electronic paying methods to cater for the international market,” she said.

Sharing lessons learnt from the summit, Ms Manake said there were immense opportunities to grow the tourism sector, especially accommodation and leisure which were central to being a premier host. 

Additionally, she said there were also opportunities to develop value chains in the event sector which were youth-centric such as interpretation, protocol and event management services in an effort to curb youth unemployment.

Furthermore, Ms Manake stressed that Public Private Partnerships remained key to the country’s development.

 She said collaborations also highlighted opportunities that the private sector could explore to create jobs for Batswana.

She urged other ministries to ensure private sector representation in preparing for future events and also thanked local organising teams for the role they played in delivering the summit.Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Lorato Gaofise

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament

Date : 13 Aug 2023