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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Botswana: Francistown Trade Fair Improves

Thursday, June 04, 2015 > 09:54:11

(All Africa By Calviniah Kgautlhe)

The Business Botswana National Trade Fair was abuzz with activity as businesses buoyantly tussled to market themselves to take their goods and services to the Francistown community and its peripheries.

Over 200 business entities converged at the BOCCIM fair grounds in Francistown on May 27-31.

The business Botswana chief executive officer, Ms Maria Machailo-Ellis, said the fair had improved when compared to last year and it attracted 182 exhibitors who had occupied 220 stalls.

The event, she said, presented an opportunity for exhibitors to market themselves and create fruitful partnerships that could take Botswana's economy to another level.

Ms Machailo-Ellis underscored the critical role the private sector plays such as value creation adding that all must strive to create or cultivate innovative synergies between public sector and private sector which could go a long way in transforming the business landscape and indeed the lives of Batswana.

Furthermore, she said Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM), which is currently undergoing restructuring in order to broaden its mandate under the auspices of European Union (EU) was now called Business Botswana. "We need a fresh body and a fresh name," she added.

Officially opening the trade fair on Friday, Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL)) managing director, Mr Paul Taylor said BTCL which was the main sponsor of the event had supported eight companies that fall under the low income category by giving them free stalls.

"The intention is not only to enhance the participant's business and trading acumen but also to provide a platform for them to market themselves in order to optimise opportunities for growth," he said.

Mr Taylor said the annual Northern Trade Fair which the BTCL had supported for the past four years and had signed to sponsor for the next three years had proven to benefit local businesses, citing an events company called Mphorium Investments and Selepa Hotel as businesses that have initially gained exposure through the Northern Trade Fair.

Expressing optimism on attracting investors to Francistown, he said, "We must all work together with the leadership to bring to life the Francistown investment master plan dubbed vision 2022.

Let us embrace initiatives that will help transform this city by learning and emulating those who have already similarly transformed their economies." However, he said developments were taking place in Francistown to transform it into a world class city citing the ongoing construction of the spaghetti road infrastructure.

He emphasised the need for businesses to embrace Information Communication and Technology (ICT) within the increasingly information oriented global economy. "ICT is not only vital for economic growth, but also helps countries and cities to remain competitive," he said.

In an interview, one exhibitor, Ms Monicah Moyuthu, 46, who had come all the way from Moroka village enrolled under government flagship poverty eradication programme came under the auspices of North East District Council, said, "It is my first time to come here, and the exhibition has been an eye opener for me, I am selling my rock buns here and have learnt how to market myself and package my products, I will apply knowledge acquired here in my business when I return to the village," she said.

Another Exhibitor, Mr Odirile Mosala, 26, a student who came under the auspices of University of Botswana had exhibited an innovative machine locally designed kitchen utensil; Morogo wa dinawa (bean leaves) dryer, which he said takes only 5 hours to dry.

He said the Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair exhibition presented them with an opportunity to showcase innovative products that are relevant to the lives of Batswana.

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