The ever cash-strapped Francistown City Council (FCC) has extended its begging bowl to the corporate sector seeking financial assistance from the local companies to fund the forthcoming Francistown Investment Forum.
Francistown Investment Forum (FIF) – tentatively slated for the 19th until the 21st of August this year – is expected to drive the country’s largest city’s Vision 2022 and eventually bring the much-needed foreign direct investment (FDI) home.
With a total of twelve mines surrounding Francistown, the forum will map the way forward in trying to transform the country’s second city into a city of economic vibrancy by the next eight years.
At this forum, ways and means of creating a conducive business environment and improve the lives of the Francistown community, will be formulated and eventually put into practice to attract investors into the city.
But for this to happen, FCC is expected to raise at least P3.5 million.
This amount of over three million pulas will be used in the logistical preparations and hosting of the forum expected to attract not less than 500 delegates from across the globe.
“The purpose of this event is unpacking new investment opportunities in Francistown and the surrounding areas to attract foreign direct investment and turn our city into a special economic zone,” said the City of Francistown mayor, James Kgalajwe.
He was addressing sizeable number business operators in Francistown at the Tati River Lodge on Friday morning during a breakfast seminar organized by the FIF committee.
Kgalajwe said the forum is of an international standard and aimed at attracting big investors into the city.
“Various captains of industry locally will interact with international investors for possible joint ventures and private and public partnerships,” said Kgalajwe.
He pleaded with the corporate world to come on board and assist.
Kgalajwe said the investment forum would present enormous spinoff benefits to the local business sector just before, during and after the event for companies partnering with either government or others in the private sector.
“By supporting the conference, the corporate world can enhance the City of Francistown’s reputation as a connected, regional and international municipality towards sustainability in economic vibrancy,” Kgalajwe told the breakfast seminar.
According to Kgalajwe, the corporate world will be acknowledged for its sponsorship in the buildup, during and after the event.
Kgalajwe said the forum has been declared a paperless conference whereby ICT will play a fundamental role.
Main industries to be focused on are mining, ICT, tourism, agriculture, energy supply and transport and logistics.
Cities in the United States of America (USA), Belgium, China, South Africa and others are expected to send delegates.