Wednesday, 18 June 2014
In an endeavour to profile bankable projects, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) conducted a regional mapping study in towns and district councils through a consultant in Botswana. The main objective of the study was to conduct a comprehensive analysis to identify and map investment opportunities in districts and town councils in Botswana for investment promotion in both the domestic and foreign regions.
The western region was covered under the Group one category by editing firm, Deloitte and comprised of; Maun, Gumare, Ghanzi, Charles Hill, Hukuntsi, Tsabong, Mabutsane, Jwaneng and Kanye. The central, north east and Chobe region were covered under Group two and three comprising of Mahalapye, Letlhakane, Orapa, Serowe, Palapye, Selibe Phikwe, Bobonong, Kasane, Pandamatenga, Sowa Town, Tutume, Masunga, Francistown and Tonota by the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA); while the southern region was covered under Group four consisting of Gaborone, Kgatleng, Kweneng, South East, Lobatse, Barolong area as well as Ngwaketse and the areas in their vicinity were covered by Joina Consultants.
One of the salient features of the study is that a number of definite opportunities which could be rolled out in various areas on a large scale exist; hence there is a need to further investigate.
The following are some of the opportunities identified throughout the study areas;
Natural and environmental conditions and resources are quite similar in the western region, giving credence to the generally accepted understanding that development opportunities are scarce within that particular region. In general, primary manufacturing and industry is underdeveloped throughout the entire region and potential local investment opportunities have not been developed or investigated to any depth. A number of projects of divergent nature have been identified for possible establishment in the region. Each of the projects can be operated on a scale varying from very small to large scale commercial projects;
a) Manufacturing or processing of cement, oxalic acid for export, livestock feed, liquid vehicle fuels, an abattoir and meat processing plant in Ghantsi, large commercial olive oil plantation, pharmaceutical industry-products from Devil’s claw harpagophytum procumbens, hoodia Gordonii and other plants prevalent in the region. Limestone or calcrete deposits are also prevalent throughout the western region with the possibility to explore lime production which could be used in the mining industry. Processing facilities for agricultural produce and electrical generation.
b) Tourism - Premium-type overnight accommodation, camping and a Highway Truck Stop that is open consistently throughout the year with restaurants or eateries required at Junction 44 and Kang in the on the A2 Trans-Kalahari highway.
The central region, North East and Chobe is vast with majority of resources confined to mineral beneficiation, tourism and agricultural production.
Below are some of the opportunities identified in the study of the area;
a) Uranium Energy Project in Boteti Sub District, construction of a refinery at Selibe Phikwe, horticulture in Bobirwa , Agro-Processing at Talana Farms, mining of precious stones in Bobirwa, domestic power to coal projects in Mookane, leather projects in Shoshong, Transport and Logistics opportunities at Morupule, Piggery and Poultry slaughter facilities, Feedlot projects, Pandamatenga Agricultural infrastructure development project, Zambezi integrated agro-commercial development project, meat processing, procurement of mining operation inputs (fuel, milling balls, reagants), can manufacturing, tannery and dairy processing.
b) Tourism - Water-based tourism or recreation activities at Thune, Dikgatlhong and Letsibogo dams.
The southern region is home to 38 percent of Botswana’s population and closer to South Africa, the regional economic hub in the Southern African Development Community.
The following projects were identified and mapped in the area;
a) Tannery plant (wet blue), Aqua-culture, horticulture, floriculture (cut flower production), agro-food processing, commercial rabbit production, dairy development, soap manufacturing, pharmaceuticals (from beef by-products), elephant ivory , slaughter houses, bio energy, cold storage facilities, oxygen gas plant, leather garments manufacturing, transport and logistics.
Following the conclusion of an investigative research that mapped opportunities in all towns and regions of Botswana, BITC continues to disseminate information to various council authorities and other relevant bodies. Part of the information sharing process entails undertaking targeted training programmes on developing local economy development strategies by these councils, whose main objective is to assist in identifying and promoting opportunities presented by government and the private sector spending within districts for local companies to participate meaningfully in diversifying the economy and achieving local economic development.
The capacity building initiative is seen as a means of reaching out to key stakeholders by BITC as well as sharing vital information on opportunities that exist. To date training interventions have been conducted in 13 districts and town councils being; Chobe District, Kgalagadi District, Ghanzi District, North East District, North West, Selebi-Phikwe, Lobatse, Francistown - South East District and Kgatleng; Sowa Town; Jwaneng; Central District (including all Sub Districts namely; Serowe Admin, Palapye, Mahalapye, Bobirwa, Tonota, Tutume and Boteti). BITC is in the process undertaking similar trainings to other councils notably; Southern District; Kweneng District and Gaborone City.
As a result of the capacity building exercise the Central District Council has produced the “Central District Investment Attraction Framework Draft report and Chobe District Council produced the “Chobe District Business Investment Strategy outline” and North East District councils has produced the “Local Economic Development Strategy 2014-2018”
In conclusion, the Lobatse council has requested assistance for marketing investment opportunities the region, particularly Lobatse from BITC. The request is in line with their efforts to resuscitate the economy in that town.