Picture Caption: F/town Deputy Mayoress Joyce Ndove, BOCCIM (Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower) President Lekwalo Mosienyane and BTC CEO Paul Taylor

BOCCIM held its annual northern trade fair and marked its 20th anniversary last week in Francistown.

Guest speaker BTC (Botswana Telecommunications Corporation) CEO, Paul Taylor, said the fair creates an effective investment environment geared towards changing the lives of communities.

He urged participants to roll up their sleeves and each play a role in transforming Francistown, the region and the country as a whole.

“This show is a platform which attracts local, regional and international small, medium and large-scale enterprises. The objective is to interact, network and build long lasting relationships between the private sector, NGO’s (non-governmental organizations), government departments and parastatals. I call on investors and entrepreneurs to identify opportunities and re-invent the city which is the gateway to the north,” said Taylor.

With speculation that the Tati Nickel mine is set to close, the second city, which is already experiencing a high unemployment rate could have serious consequences.

Taylor also said he hoped that industry management would mitigate, devise and implement a turnaround strategy to keep the operation running and save jobs.

Taylor said that the local economy should be diversified to reduce reliance on just a handful of employers. He thanked BOCCIM for inviting him to officially open the trade fair which aims to grow the City of Francistown into a more vibrant commercial centre.

In her message, BOCCIM CEO, Maria Machailo Ellis, said the success of businesses large and small is critical in a developing economy like Botswana as an alternative engine of economic growth.

She said business contribution towards economic growth, job creation and social development is highly valued.

“The fair represents an opportunity to enhance brand and product visibility, promotes new and existing products, generates leads and drives incremental sales. Moreover, it enables participants to stay on top of the latest industry trends, gain competitor insights and make key industry contacts to further solidify relationships with other businesses,” she said.

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