Sharing his hopes for the future at the Forbes Under 30 Africa Summit, President Mokgweetsi Masisi described the newly formed Ministry of Entrepreneurship as a catalyst of success for any business looking to trade in Botswana.
The President was kicking off the summit at the Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub in Gaborone on 25 April 2022 with a discussion with Randall Lane, the Chief Content Officer of Forbes on harnessing Botswana’s past, present and future where he discussed the decision for Botswana to host the summit. among other things.
The President told the Forbes cohort that establishment of the ministry should assist in the growth of the economy by fostering a conducive environment of doing business. The new ministry will become a focal point for all the stellar changes that his government has been driving and serve as a one-stop centre for digitisation, technology, innovation and disruption.
Explaining the thinking behind the recent rationalisation of ministries, President Masisi said the privatisation of entities and merging of parastatals and ministries was of way of the government trying to foster a private sector-led economy by reducing the size of the public service. Assuring the international Forbes community of Botswana’s commitment to the rule of law, Masisi said Botswana has invested in peace, democracy and freedom and that his government is focused on ensuring that there is zero tolerance for corruption.
“We are regularly on the lookout for any adjustments that we can do to the regulatory environment without getting in the way of business, and if we do, we are constantly in conversation with the private sector who can advise when the changes being implemented are a disruption to doing business in Botswana,” he said. “There are several committees within the government that engage with the sector and there is an open line of communication between the business community and government.”
He told the delegates that the government has invested a lot of money in the National Research Fund for research, innovation and enterprise development. This will support the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and the rest of the government into unlock opportunities for new, high-growth companies in the private sector and youth employment, among other citizen empowerment undertakings. In the President’s outlook, the success of this new ministry will leverage on the merging of CEDA and the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) into one entity, which will provide broad-based support to micro, small and medium enterprises (SMMEs).
The Under 30 Summit, hosted for the first time in Africa, brought together the world’s most elite young entrepreneurs and game-changers to Botswana. One third of the participants came from the 30 Under 30 Africa community, one third from Botswana as the host country, and one-third from the Forbes 30 Under 30 community worldwide. The summit attracted the greatest minds in business across the continent and the world, including the Founder and Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, who is also the President of the Confederation of African Football, South Africa’s self-made billionaire, Patrice Motsepe.