- Show aims to bridge gap between producers and retailers
- BITC uses the campaign to promote uptake of locally produced goods
- Progressive discussions between local producers and retailers take place alongside the roadshow
Aiming to build the production capacity of local producers and service providers, the objective of nationwide show is also to bridge the gap between SMMEs and retailers.
Launched in 2018 as a marketing initiative for driving a paradigm shift for local products, to employment creation and economic growth, #PushaBW SMME Roadshow will see BITC collaborating with various local retailers and strategic parastatals to create a platform for candid discussions between local SMMEs and retailers.
This strategic partnership includes the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), PayLess, Squaremart, Pick n’ Pay, Choppies, Trans Africa (Wholesalers), Woolworths, Sefalana, Fairgrounds Holdings and Fours Cash n’ Carry. Speaking at the official launch of the roadshow in Gaborone recently, the Acting Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Mabuse Pule, said availability of local products in the retail market is important for consumers and allows competitiveness of such goods in the local and external markets.
Minister Mabuse noted that the roadshow is necessary because most retailers are not aware of what is readily available, some local producers are not aware of retailers’ requirements for listing and others struggle to meet the requirements. “The primary objective of the #PushaBW initiative is to reduce the import bill, which is currently over P85 billion, through uptake of locally produced goods and services,” he said.
“This is a very significant deliverable of my ministry’s mandate. The #PushaBW initiative was launched in 2018 as a campaign to persuade Batswana and all residents of this country to make conscious decisions to buy locally produced goods and services.” Pule added that the campaign aims to improve the production capacity of local producers, which directly contributes towards creation of more job opportunities and economic diversification.
Also speaking at the launch of #PushaBW, the CEO of BITC, Keletsositse Olebile, said the campaign targets three key players – the producer, the retailer and the consumer to improve the quality of local products for producers, have more of these products on the shelves of local stores, and for the consumer to consciously choose to buy the products.
“The retailers, in partnership with BITC, will be travelling across the country to engage local producers in an effort to bridge the gaps that have been identified with the requirements, especially the quality of their products and how to list in these stores,” Olebile said.
The official launch was coupled with panel discussions where retailers and producers deliberated on issues around the SMME sector in Botswana, some of those issues being long turnaround times for paying producers and retailers turning into producers and promoting their in-house brands over locally produced goods. Listing requirements, supply requirements and underfunding of local producers as an issue were also discussed.