Business conference leaves local entrepreneurs fuming

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  •  they accuse the City leadership of failing to take advantage of the business conference
  • this was the opportunity to make an insight of the city-Entrepreneurs

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: The recent flagship National Business Conference (NBC) has left Francistown based Entrepreneurs reeling with anger accusing the city leadership for failing to create a beneficial interactive platform out of the forum.
Local entrepreneurs are angry that the city leadership and the public sector executives as the facilitators of the private sector failed to lobby for a platform that could have been used to make a presentation about the insight and position of Francistown. To their contention the leadership was supposed to be business orientated and lobbied for business engagement about the city.
“The leadership could have realized that Business Botswana saw the need to bring the business conference and take advantage of the platform to make an insight of Francistown,´ fumed the Founder and Managing Director of Ngwana Enterprises Mooketsi Benedict Tekere.
The NBC was a great opportunity to lobby different investors to come and invest in city and the leadership ought to be considerate that the latter also have to know and understand where they are investing, he said.
“Imagine a business forum that has attracted local and foreign investors and we failed to utilize it. What disheartening the most is that even President Mokgweetsi Masisi also attended and was willing to engage the business community. And this was the opportunity to make an insight of the city in front of the President. Truly our leadership has failed to use most useful business platform that could have opened opportunities for the city,” Tekere added.
With the city currently faced with uncertainty of mines and government enterprises Tekere is of the view that the NBC was the right platform to raise the issues. Worryingly he questioned the mandate of the Francistown Investment Committee (FIC) that was established four years ago. “At least this committee could have been in the forefront lobbying for a platform that could have been used for business engagement by the local entrepreneurs,” Tekere said adding that the Francistown leadership has validated the death of the city’s economy.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Affordable Investment who is also Former Marketing and Sales Director of Francistown Investment Forum, Gadzanani Makopola also could not hide his disappointment towards the city’s leadership’s failure to create an interactive platform with the conference. “You may recall that I am the one who crafted the Francistown Investment Strategy and Rebranded Francistown ‘city of all things precious’ but surprisingly when the politicians realized that the initiative is booming they started acting funny and eventually conspired to fire us from the office,” remarked Makopola.
Ideally this Investment Forum was initiated to lobby for Francistown in this kind of business forum that can create interests from different investors. “ As we speak NBC came and left but Francistown has nothing to show. This failure by the leadership to engage the people who formulated the Investment Forum shows that there is a leadership vacuum in our city.”
Francistown Mayor Sylvia Muzila said that as the leadership they did not have any authority to change the programme of the recent NBC. “As the Mayor I was only invited to do welcome remarks but in my speech I promised that whatever decision they take, as the council we will give them support. I also asked them to consider the local authorities when they make resolutions and hopefully they did that,” Muzila said in an interview.

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