- Programme prepares entities to be export-ready
- Over 100 companies have undergone interventions for export readiness
- ‘We are shaping the future of Botswana’s export sector’- CEO
In a strategic initiative aimed at enhancing economic growth and diversifying the export portfolio, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has taken significant strides through its Botswana Exporter Development Programme (BEDP).
Launched a decade ago, BEDP aims to empower local companies, fostering growth and enabling them to thrive in the cutthroat global market.
BEDP offers local businesses a pathway to become export-ready entities. BEDP was reformed in 2020. Its target industries include textiles, garments, leather, chemicals and services. BEDP focuses on building the capacity of companies to compete globally.
The key objectives include promoting Botswana products in foreign markets, enhancing the competitiveness of local businesses, and fostering an export culture. BITC CEO, said BEDP has played a pivotal role in shaping Botswana’s export sector.
Keletsositse Olebile, said through diagnostic assessments, 117 companies have undergone targeted interventions to enhance their export readiness. As a result of BEDP, businesses have reaped the rewards of compliance assistance, organic certification, and capacity-building interventions.
The CEO also hailed BITC’s collaboration with the University of Botswana and other strategic partners saying it has further strengthened the programme’s impact.
“One of BEDP’s notable achievements is the facilitation of market access for local exporters,” said Olebile.
“Companies under the programme framework have been supported in supplying designated retailers such as Choppies, Square Mart, Sefalana, and Cash Bazaar.”
This not only expands the market reach for local products but also contributes to the growth of the national economy.”
To stay relevant and responsive to evolving needs, BEDP underwent a thorough evaluation in 2018, with support from UNDP, leading to its official relaunch in 2020. The programme now emphasises an adaptive and diversified economy, aligning with Botswana’s goal of becoming export-led.
The CEO said the continuous collaboration with stakeholders, including government agencies, industry associations, and international organisations, remains integral to BEDP’s success. Looking ahead, BEDP has outlined ambitious plans to continue fostering the growth of Botswana’s export-oriented businesses.
These include initiatives such as capacity building, e-commerce promotion, quality management system certification, and export marketing plans. The programme envisions a future where local companies are not only export-ready but also thriving in international markets.
“Businesses seeking to participate in BEDP can apply throughout the year, submitting detailed applications that include a cover letter, business profile, certificate of incorporation, and audited financial statements,” said Olebile
“Eligibility criteria ensures that participating companies are established entities committed to developing their export capabilities.”
He said while challenges persist, including low industrial base, financial constraints, and non-tariff barriers, BEDP has implemented strategies to overcome the obstacles.
“By offering targeted support in awareness building, market diversification, and creating a favourable business environment, the programme aims to drive success even in the face of challenges,” noted Olebile.
“Through strategic interventions, partnerships, and a forward-looking approach, we are shaping the future of Botswana’s export sector.”