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Barclays hosts retailers market day

Keikantse Lesemela

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Choppies is arguably the biggest retail store in the country

Barclays Bank Botswana has this year organized the retailers market day event to enable consumers to interact with local retailers and wholesalers.

According to Barclays Bank Botswana Head of Local Corporates, Kagiso Moloi said, the platforms offer the retailers an opportunity to showcase their products to existing and prospective customers.

“In Botswana there is no opportunity for retailers to showcase their products and through this exhibition we have partnered with local retailers to showcase their products and interact with consumers,” said Moloi.Major retailers including Sefalana, Fours, Choppies, Trade World and other supermarkets, gathered under one roof to sell and promote their products.

Moloi explained to this publication that as a bank they have observed a trend in which Batswana spend a lot of money buying groceries in bulk by the end of the year.The bank has therefore come up with tailor made solutions for their customers.

As the year ends, most Batswana will flood local supermarkets and wholesalers to buy groceries through Motshelo, an informal group savings scheme. “Consumers bank with us through our Motshelo account and the retailors also bank with us so we want all our customers to benefit from our services”, he said.

Motshelo group savers account requires P500 opening deposit, a minimum of three members, Omang or passports of two signatories, proof of residence and names as well as a confirmation by members of the club. In return, the members receive free P2, 000 accidental cover for 10 members, a cheque book, monthly statements, SMS alert.

The product enables Batswana to shift from informal and risky methods of saving money. Moloi pointed out that Barclays Retailers Market Day will be an annual event and will include local manufacturers and suppliers next year.

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Business

Market Street day supports local products

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo has encouraged citizens to promote and support local products thus contributing to employment creation and economic development.

Speaking during the ministry’s Market Street day on Saturday, the trade minister said the ministry came up with the initiative to expose local products to the national market. “The plan is to keep growing so that we get Batswana products in the shops and get Batswana to know the products in the shops,” said Kenewendo. Market street day was initiated last year as a platform to add on to the continuing efforts to grow local businesses. This year, retail sector, including Shoprite, Choppies and Ackerman’s from South Africa participated in the exhibition.

Kenewendo pointed out that supporting local products helps reduce export of jobs. “Most of Batswana will say they don’t want to buy locally produced goods because they are of low quality, we need to buy from them so that they grow. When we buy products from other countries we are exporting jobs, why should we export jobs?” she asked rhetorically. Economic diversification drive should not be a Government initiative alone, only but all citizens should contribute, she concluded.

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Botswana behind in ease of doing business

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Botswana has been challenged to improve easy of doing business for the country to remain competitive amongst its peers.

The Director of Investor Facilitation and Relations at Special Economic Zones Authority’s (SEZA), Neo Mahube recently told delegates at the two- day investment symposium dubbed Doing Business in Botswana, Transitioning Botswana that the country needs to be globally competitive.“The world is growing better than we are, there is something that we are not doing right, despite our political stability and sound economic policies,” said Mahube.

Currently, Botswana lags behind Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa on the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. Mahube said bottlenecks that investors and local startups face to register a business should be resolved.

“We need to transform the way we are doing business, if we are to bring businesses to Botswana,” said Mahube, adding that the country needs to be as efficient as possible to start a business, apart from improving credit efficiency.

She however applauded government for legislation amendment initiatives that have already been put in place ahead of the transformation journey. Mahube said through transforming the ease of doing business the country has potential to create employment.

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