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Manufacturing is a neglected sector – Mwaba

The continued neglect of the manufacturing industry is a serious time bomb for the economy hence the need for government to beef up its commitment towards promoting industrialisation, the chairman for the Botswana Manufactures Association (BEMA), Nkosi Mwaba has warned.

The manufacturing sector, supposedly, another of Botswana’s economic pillars, is failing to hold its head above the water despite government dialogue about the need to develop the industry.

Mining continues to underpin the economy contributing about 40% to the GDP while other manufacturing sectors like textile, furniture and agro processing have been struggling.

“A lot of attention is given to sectors like trade and mining but manufacturing is not addressed as it should be, whereas outside of mining the manufacturing sector would drive the economy” Nkosi Mwaba said.

Mwaba said manufacturing is quite a large industry that has potential to drive the economy and even contribute immensely to the country’s exports but all this is not possible at the moment.

“What is needed is to align the resources with what is being said in terms of economic diversification and job creation,” he said.

He lamented government and other stakeholder’s relaxed approach to manufacturing, “We expect government to say something on export incentives, emphasize on foreign direct investment efforts and retention policies,” he said.

Mwaba said manufacturers want to know how far government is willing to hold the hands of the industry.

“There are policies in place which is commendable but there are not being implemented,” he said.

Mwaba also underscored the need for Botswana to put its house in order first before worrying about regional matters. “Botswana is very active on issues regarding regional integration, regional trade and EPA’s,” he stated.

He said Botswana should first concentrate on growing its industry. “There is a need to take a proactive stance to support the local industry, once we are headed in the right direction in terms of industrialization then we can move on to talk about regional integration or trade,” he stressed.

He said that one thing for certain is that Botswana is not even at the same level with other countries in the region which have sound manufacturing industries.  

“Botswana relies on the South African industry for most things and if we are not careful South Africa will swallow the Botswana economy hence the need for government to take proactive measures to develop the manufacturing industry,” Mwaba said. He underlined that Botswana cannot have South Africa supply its needs when the potential is there locally.

According to Statistics Botswana, imports increased to P6080.10 Million in August of 2014 from P5524.40 Million in July of 2014.

Mwaba said manufactures are willing to step up their game but however stressed that the industry is not yet at a level where it can be left alone, he said that there is need for government to support the industry, citing Lesotho ‘s textile industry as a good example of what industries could achieve through local government support.

Mwaba also noted that there are legislative changes that are taking place that make the environment not conducive for investors and they need to be addressed.

He said like in any other country manufacturing provides a locus for stimulating growth such as services, and achieving specific outcomes, such as employment creation and economic empowerment.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
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.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

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.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

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.

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