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SPEDU, BITC launch Bulb world

Publishing Date : 03 September, 2019

Author : ALFRED MASOKOLA

Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC) and its sister parastatal Selibe Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) last week officially launched Bulb World, a 100 percent citizen owned a LED light bulb manufacturing company operating in Selibe Phikwe.


Botswana’s national investment and trade promotion agency , BITC assisted the setting up of Bulb World through facilitation services offered at the  Botswana One Stop Services Center (BOSSC) while SPEDU , a Phikwe region bespoke investment promotion agency  made facilitations on factory shells and all  operational space requirements in Phikwe. Owned by Ketshephaone Jacob a youthful entrepreneur and innovator, Bulb World manufactures 20,000 light Emitting Diode (LED) lights per day.


The company currently employed 30 young Batswana at the factory and 6 more administrative and marketing personnel at their Gaborone office. Ketshephaone Jacob explained that his company was established in 2016 but only started production in late 2018. “We ran into some delays with procurement of equipments and factory components which deferred our production timeline” he said.


 With everything back on track Jacob says the aim is to be the leading provider of LED lighting solutions in Botswana and the SADC region for commercial and industrial factories as well as private residence. Bulb World lights are said to be designed to save energy by 80% on lighting costs and have a production span of up to 50,000 hours and a 36-month guarantee.


Coming at a time when residents of Selibe Phikwe are still hard hit by the aftermath of BCL Mine closure speakers at the launch underscored Bulb World’s capability to contribute meaningfully to the revitalization of Phikwe and entire SPEDU region “Our ambition as Bulb World is to employ as many young people as possible in our bid to create employment and we do absorb our recruits straight from tertiary institutions and offer on the job training.” Explained Jacob.


SPEDU Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mokubung Mokubung noted that Bulb World has the potential to help reduce Botswana’s import bill and contribute significantly to the nation’s economic diversification agenda “I am confident it will help uplift the economy of Selibe-Phikwe as it has already created jobs for 30 youths and its expected to create more jobs in the future,” he said.


Chief Executive of Botswana Investment & Trade Centre, Mr Kelotsositse Olebile encouraged Bulb World to register for the Economic Diversification Drive initiative (EDD) as it seeks to leverage on government purchasing power through local procurement. Mr Olebile also invited The Bulb World to use available BITC programes such as Botswana Export Development Programme (BEDP) and challenged the community to buy local products.


Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Karabo Gare, who was the guest speaker commended Bulb World Botswana for their contribution towards improving the energy sector in Botswana. Gare said the huge part of the electricity consumption in Botswana accounts to 40% of the total energy used for buildings alone and the introduction of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting was a step in the right direction as it was energy efficient and consumes up to 80% less power than traditional lights.


He said the less energy consumed by LED lighting the less demand from power plants which will decrease greenhouse gas emissions consequently  reducing  global warming crises. Assistant Minister Gare said the his Ministry regards  Bulb  World as a critical partner in the revitalization of Selibe Phikwe and SPEDU region following demise of its economic engine  in October 2016. “We recognize the efforts made by the young entrepreneurs who came up with this company and we continue to urge more domestic business people to invest in Phikwe and make the SPEDU region a manufacturing hub” he said.


In addition the Minister called on local sales companies, retail outlets and electrical appliances stores to offer shelves space to Bulb World products. "I believe in supporting local products and initiatives that actually grows our country, so let the words "made in Botswana" or "PushaBW" be a call of action and not a call to question", Said Gare. The Assistant Minister highlighted that Bulb World was taking strides in delivering the nation's best spark forward on a local and International scale.


“We are aware of the challenges that are faced by SMME's like Bulb World Botswana but my Ministry continuously engages retailers to support local manufacturers and we are already seeing positive results in the food and clothing sectors where commitments have been made on provision of shelve space.” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Mr Mmetla Masire said his Ministry will also support Bulb World as it offers solution to Botswana‘s energy needs. “We should promote market uptake of locally produced goods not only because they are local but because of reasonable pricing and good quality.

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