To support enterprise development and diversification in the Botswana economy, the Botswana government, Anglo American, The De Beers Group of Companies and Debswana, the mining joint venture between the Botswana government and De Beers, have launched two new partnership initiatives.
Tokafala is one of the joint enterprise development programs that aims to promote the growth of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in Botswana by supporting them while they grow into commercially viable businesses.The program seeks to improve market access, establish supply chains and offer loan financing to SMMEs and will also link them to business opportunities with Debswana and other partners. Tokafala also looks to capitalize on the relocation of De Beers' global sales function to Gaborone, and will also connect enterprises, especially micro enterprises, to existing government development programs.
Over the course of three years, Tokafala aims to support up to 560 micro and 415 small and medium enterprises. The program is designed to bridge the current funding and advisory gap for small enterprises and to complement existing Botswana government initiatives. However, its main aim is to motivate existing participants, such as banks, to fill the gap gradually and support the program's role.
To further support enterprise development in Botswana, the partnership will work with government institutions to improve their enterprise development effectiveness, while encouraging coordination among the wider enterprise development initiatives.
A second partnership between Botswana and Anglo American is a graduate program called Bokamoso that aims to stimulate the development of local talent, offering recent Batswana graduates professional and personal development opportunities across Anglo American. Over two years, the graduates will work in different roles, gaining broad business experience. Upon completion of the program the participants will return to Botswana, contributing to the ongoing development and diversification of its economy.
Emphasizing the government's commitment to working in partnership with Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana, the Hon. Ms. Makgato-Malesu, Botswana's Minister of Trade and Industry, said at the partnerships' launch last week: "These initiatives are fully in line with our objectives of entrepreneurship development, citizen economic empowerment and ultimately economic diversification".
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani and The De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier also attended the partnership launch.