Expo presents opportunities
19 Nov 2023
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) investment expo demonstrates the commitment of both the military and Batswana to propel the country from an upper middle income status to a high income country, says BDF Commander, Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo.
Officiating at the first BDF investment expo themed: An Investment in Knowledge Pays the Best Interest, Lt Gen Segokgo said over 40 organisations participated and that it attracted experts from diverse sectors such as finance, insurance, agri-business, farming, real estate, security and government programmes.
Lt Gen. Segokgo said the expo would be held annually on a rotational basis amongst BDF bases and camps and that it reflected the army's commitment to economic growth.
He said the expo was aligned with President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi's vision of unlocking opportunities and transforming the country into a prosperous nation.
“It underscores the importance of collaboration between the military and civilian sectors, epitomising our collective pursuit of national prosperity,” he stated.
He said the objectives of the expo were to impart knowledge, foster skills development, promote social development and ensure social inclusion, adding that they dovetailed with his goals of stakeholder engagement, customer satisfaction and the enhancement of employee morale. Lt Gen. Segokgo also said the expo was a manifestation of the commitment to take the military to the people and to bring essential services closer to military personnel.
He said the expo served as a unique platform for him to engage and motivate BDF personnel as well as to reiterate and reinforce the crucial message of mindset change.
He said to achieve the aspirations of Vision 2036 the nation should embrace mindset change not only as individuals, but also as organisations, the BDF included.
He said the investment expo transcended its role as a showcase of investment opportunities and that it acted as a bridge connecting all stakeholders, adding that interconnectedness encouraged collaboration, knowledge sharing and partnerships that were pivotal for driving innovation and economic development.
The expo presented a unique opportunity to exhibitors to engage with their clients and to gather feedback for product and service improvement, he said. He noted that through the expo they aimed to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in farming and to equip future farmers with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive. He said by showcasing cutting-edge technologies, sustainable practices and business models, they aimed to inspire military personnel to approach farming as a profitable enterprise.
He said continuous learning and personal growth were emphasised in the spirit of mindset change, urging BDF members to acquire new knowledge, skills and perspectives, which they could trade with to for the country to become the sought after knowledge economy.Lt Gen. Segokgo said the expo would also provide valuable information and resources to those on the verge of retirement as well as those who felt they had done their part and wanted to retire into business. He said the expo would guide them towards post-military career options in entrepreneurship, education and government assistance schemes.
The commander further said the expo was an opportunity for BDF employees to increase their knowledge, capacity and to reduce reliance on minerals while achieving food security.
In his welcome remarks, Brigadier Collen Maruping said the expo started as a routine get together code named ‘base commander’s call’.
He said the shared valuable knowledge on investment would not only contribute moving Botswana to a high income status country, but also to improving the economic status of his colleagues after retirement. He also said the expo would help soldiers to regain control of their finances, saying most ills perpetuated by soldiers stemmed from the psychological toll of financial failure.
For his part, Major General Hedrick Rakgantswana hailed the expo, saying it promoted pillar 2 which espoused that by 2036 Botswana would be a morally tolerant and inclusive society that provided opportunities for all as well as pillar 1 that dealt with sustainable economic development.
Meanwhile, Botswana Housing Corporation sales manager, Ms Goitseone Sebego encouraged all to treat housing as priority, saying for one to be productive they needed decent housing.
Mr Kgotso Oteng from Ministry of Agriculture said the imported cattle from the United States by government presented an opportunity to increase the national herd and improve itsquality. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Mothusi Galekhutle
Location : THEBEPHATSHWA AIR BASE
Event : BDF investment expo
Date : 19 Nov 2023