The historical Francistown Investment Forum (FIF) scheduled for next month is struggling to attract sponsors, The Patriot on Sunday has established.
FIF, aimed at luring foreign and local investors into setting up businesses in and around Francistown, is expected to turn the country’s second largest city into a destination of choice for investment.
It is also expected to serve as a launch pad for the Francistown’s ambitious drive of transforming the country’s second largest city into a city of economic vibrancy by the year 2022. As investors set up businesses in Francistown, employment is also expected to be reduced.
However, the benefits expected to be derived from the hosting of the forum are seemingly failing to entice sponsors to come on board and finance the event that has got the potential of turning the economic landscape of Francistown.
FIF needs a budget of about P3.5 million in order to host an event of international standard. The budget was meant for marketing the forum, paying allowances for coordinating staff and covering the expenses to be incurred during the event.
With only a month before the event, FIF project coordinator Sylvester Toteng said the budget is falling far short. And the office is understaffed because there is no money to pay allowances for the hired staff, he said.
According to Toteng, the advertising and marketing of the event has been too low due to financial limitations. Toteng said they had yearned to flight an advert on the renowned Cable News Network (CNN) but failed.
“CNN has got a wide viewership and readership on its website. And we wanted to take advantage of that by running our adverts there. But the charges were very high and we could not afford them,” lamented the project coordinator.
Toteng said the corporate world has been reluctant to come on board. He said some seem not convinced that the forum will be something that will take place. The forum will be held at Adansonia Hotel here in Francistown from August 19 until 21st this year.
“Some do not believe that the event will be hosted,” said Toteng, adding that the coordinating committee is doing everything within its power to ensure that the corporate world will buy the idea and sponsor it.
So far, FIF Content and Communications Director Tshiamo Morobosi said only Debswana and the Ministry of Local Government have come on board in as far as sponsoring the hosting of the event is concerned.
“Debswana has contributed P100 000 towards this noble cause while the Ministry of Local Government has also contributed the same amount,” said Morobosi, adding that he remains optimistic that sponsors will come on board.
Morobosi pleaded with the corporate world to sponsor the event saying the forum will turn the City of Francistown into an economic vibrancy.