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Francistown Investment Forum woos SPEDU

Publishing Date : 22 October, 2018


Francistown Investment Forum (FIF) is looking for opportunities to partner with SPEDU in the pursuit of their common mandate of investment promotion, particularly that the City of Francistown and the town of Selebi Phikwe face similar economic challenges.

This remarks were said by FIF Marketing Manager, Gadzanani Makopola on Monday in Selebi Phikwe at SPEDU’s Stakeholder Consultative Engagement Session. Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) partnered with the Francistown City Council (FCC) in 2014 to launch the forum which was established to attract inward investment to the second City and promote the already existing investment opportunities in the city in the four sectors of Agriculture, Mining, Information Communications Technology (ICT) and Tourism.

Like FIF, SPEDU is an investment promotion company owned by the Government of Botswana tasked to coordinate investment promotion and economic diversification in the SPEDU economic region. Similarly, SPEDU focuses on three sectors of Tourism, Agribusiness, Mining and ICT.

Makopola revealed that the Forum in partnership with a company called Ndo Shopper are currently planning for what he predict will be the biggest shopping fair in history. The planned Francistown Shoppers Fair will be held from December 23-25 this year at the new Francistown Stadium. Makopola noted that the Northern part of Botswana especially Francistown, is the busiest during festive season as people travel from various places to go home for Christmas and New Year celebrations. “This is the time where shopping appetite is on a high and we can utilize this opportunity to make business,” he said.

According to Makopola, this is one of the many events and other projects that Selebi Phikwe and Francistown through SPEDU and FIF can collaborate in an effort to collectively push the investment promotion agenda for the benefit of the two embattled economic centres whose economy faltered as a result of the closure of BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe and Tati Nickel Mining Company in Francistown. BCL has since been put on final liquidation while Tati Nickel is still on Provisional Liquidation.

Makopola revealed that FIF’s evaluation has determined the investment opportunities in both Selebi Phikwe and Francistown to amount to over 40 billion pula which he said is a lot of money that can transform the economic outlook of these two urban centres.
Regional Business Voice Association

Meanwhile, SPEDU and Business Botswana have directed their focus and expertise on fostering relations to enhance the economic development and prosperity of the Selebi Phikwe Region. This was evidenced by the recent signing of a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the two entities to form a Regional Chamber of Commerce in Selebi Phikwe which will be known as the Regional Business Voice Association.

Together, the two entities, one an Investment Promotion company and the other a private sector representative body, will set up institutional and organisational structures for the chamber. The Regional Chamber of Commerce is expected to be the central business focus in the SPEDU Region. The project entails the setting up of a lobby forum and institutional framework for strategic involvement of the private sector in mainstream economic development. It also entails an investigation into the potential of a vibrant informal sector in the SPEDU Region.



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