- Oxygas fills void made obvious by COVID-19
- Minister Dikoloti says it is in line with President’s Reset Agenda
- Oxygas to create 230 jobs when in full operation
Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) recently celebrated a ground-breaking of a specialised warehouse facility for Oxygen Gas (Oxygas) Proprietary (Pty) Limited (Ltd) project in Selibe-Phikwe.
Oxygas is a 100 percent citizen-owned company that has been set up to manufacture medical and industrial gases in Botswana.
In his remarks, BDC Managing Director, Cross Kgosidiile, said the ceremony represented ground-breaking into a sustainable manufacturing industry that requires rich resources to thrive in a conducive business environment. He added that the ceremony also emphasised the ground-breaking synergy between Oxygas, BDC, CEDA and SPEDU that will make a unique contribution to Botswana’s economy. “BDC remains fully committed to fundamentally contributing to the development of a viable, competitive and profitable manufacturing industry,” Kgosidiile said.
“Through Oxygen Gas (Pty) Ltd, BDC will be fulfilling its mandate of promoting citizen economic empowerment and creating sustainable economic diversification to promote a self-sufficient supply of medical gas, which is key to saving Batswana from COVID-19, in that way creating jobs for Batswana, promoting real growth of the economy, and assisting in placing private industry at the forefront of economic development.” In his keynote speech, the Minister of Health, Dr Edwin Dikoloti, described the project as a demonstration of the government’s dedication to implementation and achievement of the 2020/21 to 2022/23 Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP) and the Reset Agenda championed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
He said Oxygas will enable Botswana to meet its national demand for gas, reduce the country’s current dependence on imported medical and industrial gases and increase export potential. Achieving these would contribute to accomplishment of strategic goals of self-sufficiency, reduction of the import bill and job creation. Minister Dikoloti commended BDC, CEDA and SPEDU for their collaborative efforts in bringing a project of such national importance to fruition. He pledged the government’s support for Oxygas in order to reduce the health sector’s dependence on imported medical gases, particularly oxygen, whose shortage at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic proved a threat to the survival of Batswana as a people.
Oxygas has been co-funded by BDC and CEDA. Although the company is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Western Industrial Estate (Pty) Ltd (WIE), BDC will construct the necessary specialised warehouses and ancillary buildings at an estimated cost of P42,6 million. CEDA will finance the purchase of the plant, specialised equipment and provide the initial working capital. This project is considered of utmost importance to Botswana and the SPEDU region as it strives to bring diversity to the economy and the manufacturing sector, achieve import substitution, contribute to the economic resuscitation efforts of SPEDU and create much-needed employment for Batswana. It is anticipated that the project will create 200 jobs in the construction phase and 230 when in full operation.