City of Francistown authorities announced the availability of 400 hectares of land in the country’s second largest city to cater for investors wishing to start cargo and logistics under the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) dogma.
The land, situated near Gerald Estates location has been made available to Francistown authorities by Lands and Housing Minister Prince Maele for the realization of the much-anticipated SEZ strategy.
SEZ policy adopted by the government last August, has been designed to attract world class domestic and foreign investors by offering them developed infrastructure, state of the art technology, beneficial inter-sectoral linkages, improvements in economies of scale, specially trained skilled labor force and targeted economic incentives.
The economic policy seeks to coordinate, promote and facilitate investments through the identification of locations for establishing the zones as well as ensuring that basic infrastructure and utilities are in place.
At a broader level SEZs are intended to achieve economic diversification, export base of Botswana beyond the diamond mining sector through provision of a hassle free business environment offering investors a competitive edge in world markets.
It is against this backdrop that the City of Francistown, tasked with the mandate of establishing and turning Francistown into a regional cargo, freight and logistics hub of note, has been given land bank of 400 hectares.
City of Francistown mayor Sylvia Muzila revealed the development early this week when deliberating a vote of thanks during the graduation ceremony for Destiny Car Rentals (Pty) Ltd from Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) mentorship in Francistown.
Muzila told LEA clients and captains of the industry that plans to establish a cargo, freight and logistics hub in the country’s second largest city have gained momentum faster than the implementers themselves initially planned.
“The Ministry of Lands and Housing has set aside a chunk of land measuring about 400 hectares for the City of Francistown to establish a cargo, freight and logistics hub under the much-talked about SEZ initiative,” revealed Muzila.
She implored established businesses and would-be entrepreneurs to consider diversifying the country’s second largest city’s economy by setting up cargo, freight forwarding and logistics firms here.
Centrally located in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Botswana’s second largest city offers land-linked access to seven fast growing markets and serves as a perfect location to leverage regional trade growth with intra-regional transport volumes expected to more than double within the next two decades.
According to the World Economic Forum, Botswana has the best landlocked infrastructure in Africa and the best logistics operating environment in the SADC region if not the rest of the continent.
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.
The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.
In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.
Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.
China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.
Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.
On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.
According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.
The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.
Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.
According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.
The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.
Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.
Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana. The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.