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Mayor buoyant over investment potential

SHARE   |   Sunday, 07 September 2014   |   By Phillimon Mmeso

The vision and dream of turning Botswana’s second city of Francistown into investment destination took shape last week when they hosted the investment forum to prepare for their Vision 2022.

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The forum attracted captains of industry who all agreed that Francistown has the potential to be the gateway to the northern region.

One of the pioneers of the Francistown 2022, the outgoing mayor of the city James Kgalajwe hailed the forum as a success.

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In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Kgalajwe said that the investment forum which was opened by the Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe exceeded their expectations.

“It has opened doors for our city which was now becoming a ghost city and has created interest from investors both regionally and internationally,” said the excited Kgalajwe.

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Prior to independence, Francistown which is commonly known as Ghetto used to be Botswana’s largest commercial centre due to the gold mines in the area from 1869 to 1930s.

Kgalajwe who is not seeking political office in the coming general elections said that they are ready to welcome investors to their city and have harmonized policies to cut red tape.

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Francistown which was declared a city in 1997, has a challenge of land as the bulk of it is owned by Tati Company and Kgalajwe revealed that they have engaged the department of lands on the issue,

“Department of Lands has given us some lands and we have put it in our land bank and will be availed to investors,” he said.

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Some of the key sectors that they are targeting are tourism especially mining tourism as Francistown has lot of mines, agriculture due to the fertile land around the city and mining logistics.

Kgalajwe said that already some investors from United States of America have approached them and will soon visit Botswana’s oldest town.

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To ensure that everything goes according to plan and they attract relevant investors, Francistown City Council has formed an investment appraisal committee with Botswana Investment and Trade Center (BITC). 

FCC mayor revealed that they have formed an investment company wholly owned by the city council and is known as Francistown Investment Company (FIC).

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“To avoid the company being soiled in politics we are going to ensure that it has its own chief executive officer who will be from the outside the council,” said Kgalajwe.

Francistown which was named after Daniel Francis, a founding director of the Tati Concessions Limited Company, is reliant on the mining companies especially Tati Nickel Company.



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