Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Gov't recommits to decreasing import bill
Gov't recommits to decreasing import bill
Keletsositse Olebile & Mabuse Pule (L-R)


Gov’t recommits to decreasing import bill

The government of Botswana has once more recommitted their aim of reducing the import bill by promoting the uptake of local products.

This was emphasized by acting Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry- Mabuse Pule, at the #PushaBW Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Expo National Road show launch last Friday in Gaborone.

The campaign further aims to improve the production capacity of local producers, which directly contributes towards creation of more job opportunities and economic diversification.

With the import bill reported to be hovering over P85 billion, #PushaBW initiative was introduced in 2018 though significant strides have not been made with regards to the mandate.

In October 2021 alone, food imports amounted to P995 million, a very alarming figure especially that calls have been made for Botswana to push towards food self-sufficiency and security.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Therefore Botswana Investment and Trade Centre(BITC), Local Entrepreneurial Authority(LEA) and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency(CEDA) have embarked on a nationwide road show of the #PushaBW which aims at building capacity of local producers and service providers.

According to Minister Pule, availability of local products in the retail market brings local products closer to all consumers and allows for competitiveness of products in the local and external market.

“This road show has been brought about by the fact that most of the retailers are not aware of what is readily available. On the other hand, some local producers are not aware of the requirements and others struggle to meet those requirements for listing by the retailers. These requirements include among others, meeting certain quality standards, consistent and continuous supply as well as competitive pricing,” he said.

Retailers Woolworths, Sefalana, Fours, Trans Africa, Choppies, Squaremart and Pick n’ Pay have joined the road show as major players in the fast moving consumer goods.

However the road show comes at a time when Botswana is already struggling with meeting its demands of vegetables with supplies of potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes at its all-time lowest therefore causing prizes to skyrocket and calls to open borders for vegetables to be imported from neighbouring countries to ease the situation.

With retailers on board it is believed that challenges faced by local producers and service providers will be addressed, especially those relating to market access.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

According to Pule retailers should find more ways to engage with local producers. “Come up with Supplier Development Programmes to enhance their capacity, improve their reliability and further avail shelf space within your stores for their products. Closure of the gap between international and local products will ultimately reduce the import bill,” said Pule.

For his part, BITC Chief Executive Officer Keletsositse Olebile, said during the road show retailers will be travelling across the country to engage local producers in an effort to bridge the gaps that have been identified with the requirements especially the quality of their products, to list in these stores.

“After an on-going three-year journey, where we have been seeing a steady increase in the uptake of local products, we celebrate the “retailers” this morning, for their commitment in partnering with government in ensuring the continued listing of local products in their stores,” he said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like


Business Botswana (BB) held the 5th Prosperity Africa Small Business Exporters Conference in Gaborone last week. The three-day conference, which attracted over 70 international...


Friday saw the start of a powerful new partnership as Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Francistown College of  Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) joined...


As part of their efforts to promote the country as a tourism hub, Cresta Marakanelo Limited (CML) sang Botswana’s praises at the Africa Travel...


Health Generation adds zest to the HATAB Conference Botswana’s best juicers, Health Generation had plenty of admirers at the just ended Hospitality and Tourism...


Coal mine set sights on Europe Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) are in hot pursuit of an exciting new partnership, with the coal producers in...


There is a famous Chinese proverb that states life begins the day you start a garden. This certainly rings true for 41-year-old Unaswi Tafila,...


Fallout from Ukraine invasion worries Minerals Minister Calling for divine intervention, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lefoko Moagi has warned that the on-going Russia/Ukraine...


Distribution company open Gabs office East Africa’s leading ICT distribution company, Red Dot has honed in on Botswana, officially opening an office in Gaborone’s...