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BITC, UB partner to push Botswana’s export led economy dream

Publishing Date : 21 May, 2018

Author : REARABILWE RAMAPHANE

Botswana Investment & Trade Center (BITC) and the University of Botswana (UB) have joined forces in a bid to push Botswana’s export led economy dream. This was denoted by signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between the two institutions last week in Gaborone.


The cooperation deal was witnessed at the University of Botswana main campus where the two institutions were represented by their top executives. BITC is the nation’s face and investment wooing agent mandated with facilitating both domestic and foreign direct investment as well as promoting an export led economy.


The collaboration between the organization and the country’s premier academic institution is viewed as an ideal undertaking happening at a critical time when Botswana seeks to diversify its mining dependent economy as well as push the transformation of the country’s economy to a knowledge based one. According to information from the BITC, the partnership will develop institutional ties that will promote interaction in mutually beneficial areas such as training, consulting and education amongst others in the fields of international finance, Marketing and business development.


Speaking at the ceremony, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of BITC, Kelotsositse Olebile said the MoU would see the implementation of a capacity building initiative called Botswana Exporter Development Program (BEDP) which will be delivered through the University of Botswana in June this year. BITC’s Export Development Program (EDP) provides an opportunity for companies to achieve their market expansion objectives in Botswana.


Olebile observed that the collaboration with the UB will push BITC’s mandate of positioning Botswana as the leading destination for investment and trade in Africa with a focus on accelerated economic growth and diversification, employment creation and export development. “The EDP aims to increase exports, of products and services that add domestic value and contribute to the diversification of the economy,” Olebile Said.


He explained that the program provides a platform to ensure participating companies are given intensive support to enhance their export competitiveness and establish a significant foothold in regional and international markets. “The program offers an integrated approach to training and educating potential exporters, and takes into account the needs of larger and established exporters,” he added.


According to BITC, the EDP targets businesses in the sectors  of textiles and garments, meat and meat processing, jewelry making, furniture, arts and crafts, services, leather and leather products, glass and glass products and chemicals. However Olebile also underscored that companies outside the targeted sectors will also be considered on application.


He further added that key deliverables of the MoU will promote vacation attachments / placements for international business students to gain practical exposure in branding and marketing. The University of Botswana as the country’s leading academic and learning institution’s transformation efforts encompass it crafting itself a global entities contributing significantly to the country’s research, innovation and economic development.


UB Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris said that the MoU formalizes the cooperation between the University of Botswana and BITC highlighting that it comes at a time when the University is making great strides in boosting engagements with various industries and stakeholders for mutual benefit. “This MoU is a milestone for us as it commences a new beginning of long impactful relationship with BITC,” Professor Norris highlighted.


Norris added that the purpose of the BEDP was to develop a pool of appropriately skilled exporters, and ensure that the real value of exports in the Botswana economy is consistently growing over time. The program will cover export awareness, export planning and mentoring. He emphasized that the University is equipped and capable to deliver industry related trainings such as the BEDP. Professor Norris urged stakeholders to engage the university, especially the Faculty of Business, saying it was open for consultancy and research based advices on issues of national investment, finance and economy.

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