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An initiative dubbed 50 years of Economics & Business will later this year hold an investment symposium on five decades of doing business in Botswana with a view of promoting and creating awareness on the role played by the private sector since the country gained its independence. The two-day event, which will be held in December, will bring together think tanks from within Botswana and the international community to discuss Botswana‘s investment and economic environment since independence and how it can be improved. Some of the speakers that have been lined to speak at the event include regional manager of rating agency – Moodys, Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) CEO, Thapelo Tsheole, Botswana Exporters and Manufactures Association (BEMA) president, Nkosi Mwaba and Women in Business Association (WIBA) president, Tumie Mbaakanyi.
Speaking at press briefing on Thursday, Tsheole said though the stock market itself has not been in existent since independence [only coming into existence in 1989] it has also played a critical role in helping many companies to raise capital and others going on to expand beyond the borders of Botswana. He said the country is celebrating 50 years of independence with a sound stock market which trades P30.7 million per day. According to Tsheole, the BSE provides a good platform for private companies to survive adding that it offers more returns than any other form of investment. In the year that the country celebrates 50 years of independence, Tsheole said so far this year things are looking good with the BSE registering a record turnover of P499 million achieved in a day.
Mwaba said one of the issues they would be looking to discuss as BEMA is addressing competitiveness in terms of exporting. He said the organisation is very proud of the position they occupy in the business space and would go in drive to increase membership to over 20,000. BEMA would not only seek to increase membership but will also want to improve the level of growth of their members. In addition, Mwaba said the want to promote a conducive environment for exportation hence their partnership with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) adding that the intention is to see Botswana becoming an export hub despite it having a sea port.