Botswana’s first export oriented cooking oil production company has launched and has already dispatched its first delivery of orders to the neighbouring Zimbabwe. United Refineries Botswana (URB) located on the outskirt of Francistown produces three million litres of cooking oil a month, all of which is currently being exported to Zimbabwe following an approval of the deal and export by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. One of the many retailers in Zimbabwe has already ordered a month supply to value of P8 million, barely a month after the company started operations. Company director Mmoloki Tibe hailed their achievement, saying so far 500 direct jobs have been created with extra 2000 indirect ones added.
Tibe said many more job opportunities will be created as the business expands. Their vision is beyond setting up an equally big sugar refinery plant to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) to spur further growth. He urged Batswana correct their mindsets and understand that going small means smaller risks. As a nation, he said, we will not flourish and compete with global markets. “I acknowledge that at this point the economy of Botswana relies on the small to medium enterprises but it is about time people realised that with time we are going to need big manufacturing industries and companies to hold the economy of Botswana.” He insisted that the country needs projects like URB to secure its economy and generate wealth for Batswana while creating employment for graduates and feeding the nation at the same time.