A foreign affair
FOCUSED: President Masisi

‘Attracting FDI top of agenda!’ – Masisi

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has reiterated government’s commitment to attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to create jobs for the youth.

Masisi was speaking at the Youth Entrepreneurship seminar hosted by Econet Group Founder and Chairman, Strive Masiyiwa on Tuesday.

In his speech, the President emphasised that employment can be created by attracting investors such as Masiyiwa to Botswana.

“Attracting foreign investors is critical in the diversification and growth of Botswana’s economy,” stressed Masisi, noting the Online Business Registration System, set to be launched in June, would further make things easier.

“In June this year, we shall see a general turnaround of business registration. This will create opportunities for our young people to realise their dreams,” he predicted, adding he believes it is the youth who will bring innovation and creativity to stimulate and transform the country’s economy.

The well-attended seminar was held under the theme, ‘Unlocking Youth Entrepreneurship through the knowledge-based economy’.

Addressing this premise, Masisi said knowledge is a commodity through which the economy can be changed and transformed.

“It is for this reason that government spends around P2 billion per annum for undergraduate programmes,” said Masisi, who revealed his government is looking to engage the private sector in order to enhance the country’s competitiveness in different sectors.

Masisi underscored the desire to transform the local economy form a resource-based into a knowledge-based one, a transformation he believes will ultimately create more job opportunities for the youth.

In order to achieve this, the President advised providers of tertiary education to move away from domesticating knowledge to globalising it in order to improve graduates’ competitiveness.

To this end, Masisi revealed government is continuously reviewing the regulatory framework in a bid to encourage innovation.

Speaking at the seminar, Masiyiwa who founded Mascom wireless network over 20 years ago, shared his wealth of experience of founding and running a successful enterprise.

The Zimbabwean billionaire encouraged entrepreneurs to know what they want, what they are doing and to form partnerships where possible.

The Mascom magnate explained that he started a communication empire after spotting an opportunity in the continent where there was a challenge of communication.

Masiyiwa shared his story of how his start-up, Mascom, went on to clinch a government tender of provision of a mobile network services, beating other seasoned international players, including MTN.

The rest, as they say, is history!

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