PPC-led symposium to cement involvement in SMMEs

• Conference comes as Covid-19 makes procuring local raw materials more critical

PPC-led symposium to cement involvement in SMMEs

PPC Botswana will host their first virtual conference on procuring local raw materials by cement manufacturers and empowering local communities in Gaborone on 30 November 2020, The Business Weekly & Review has established.

Speaking at a media briefing on the impending Buy Botswana Virtual Conference in Gaborone this week, PPC Head of Unit Tuelo Botlhole said the conference will also be aimed at citizen empowerment.

To prepare for the conference, PPC Botswana - which has over 20 years of experience in the industry in Botswana - has approached different players across the market to come together to share experiences and knowledge with the owners of SMMEs that they work with, Botlhole explained.

He said the virtual conference will be themed “Building Together, Unlocking Community Enterprises” because it is aimed at SMME and community empowerment through community development projects.

Botlhole explained that their involvement in communities over the years has encouraged them to actively participate in enhancement of the lives of Batswana by ensuring that their businesses are sustainable and can grow with good management. The PPC Buy Botswana Conference will therefore showcase Botswana’s economic fulcrum and local enterprises from different economic sectors and what they have to offer the economy.

Botlhole said policymakers, industry leaders and academics will debate, discuss and share what they believe should be the best blueprint to forge a forward push by manufactures.  “As PPC Botswana, we understand the value of local manufacturing and construction,” he asserted. “That is why our plant, through applied chemistry, produces 300,000 tons of cement per annum for the local market.” 

He noted that the Covid-19 era has made sourcing of local raw materials for his company’s products and other cement manufacturers more critical for sustainability of the construction industry. Hence industry experts will touch on various topics, including Experiences and Challenges Faced by Local Manufacturers, Doing Business Post Covid-19, Value Chain Optimisation and Business Process Service Management in the course of the conference. 

Botlhole said the conference is also aligned with the 2036 pillar Promoting Sustainable Economic Development. The point, he added, is that as the event organiser PPC Botswana would like to see Botswana develop into a high-income country with an export-led economy underpinned by diversification, as well as inclusive and sustainable growth driven by high levels of productivity. “We have this group of experts who will give guidance on how various enterprises can excel and compete in a highly competitive market,” he said.

He disclosed that they have had numerous meetings with the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry aimed at forging a way forward and finding ways to make use of local resources. Significantly, Botlhole said, these strings of meetings have resulted in formation of the Botswana Cement Manufactures Association whose mandate is to devise means how best to procure raw materials while ensuring benefits to manufactures.