Local products come of age
Entrepreneurs have been called upon to improve their products to international standards if they are to compete in the global market. Briefing the media during Vendors Day on July 18, the Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Keletso Rakhudu said local products had come of age when compared with several years ago. Mr Rakhudu said it was visible from Vendors Day exhibitors that entrepreneurs had improved their quality, especially with branding. He, however, said as an emerging market, Botswana would always grapple with issues of quality products but said government had put measures in place such as Local Enterprises Authority (LEA) which had incubators. The assistant minister said local entrepreneurs were challenged by the relocation of Diamond Trading Company (DTC) services to Botswana as they would be compared with the first world. The assistant minister said the airline industry remained a major challenge especially since Botswana did not have direct flights with major European cities. The DTC clients would therefore have to fly through other countries such as South Africa where they might face a hurdle as the country demanded transit visas.
For his part, De Beers Holdings resident director, Mr Neo Moroka said government had established Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to assist local entrepreneurs and there were other organisations such as Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) which regulated and rated tourism.
Mr Moroka said De Beers sourced their products from local entrepreneurs, adding however that they had stringent procurement process as they did not want to compromise their security.
He said they had set aside P10 million to refurbish their buildings and a huge amount would be spent on local companies. De Beers also engaged a local company to provide them with furniture.
The one day Vendors Day was held at BOBS headquarters under the theme: Promoting Business and Service Delivery Linkages Between Small, Medium and Large Enterprises.
Participants came from various sectors such as banking, construction, tourism and security. ENDS
Source : BOPA