FRANCISTOWN: Following widespread criticism of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Northern Trade Fair (BNTF) by the exhibitors yearly, BOCCIM has engaged in a new plan to turnaround the fair which is scheduled for this month end.
For the past few years, the annual fair received a lot of criticism from exhibitors who rated it poorly and insisted that it does not address its core mandate. The exhibitors claimed that while the Fair’s mandate is to connect the small businesses with established large corporates, instead it focused its attention on foreign exhibitors and the already established businesses. Furthermore, the exhibitors decried high prices of stalls, dusty grounds as well as poor coordination from BOCCIM, the development which they said does not give value for money.
However, BOCCIM Regional Manager, Kebaabetswe Bogatsu, pointed out that in consideration of the exhibitors’ complaints, they have planned a revamped Fair. Themed ‘Encompassing local business in value creation through innovative partnership,’ Bogatsu said among other new initiatives to promote interaction between small, medium and large scale enterprises is the networking session scheduled for Tati River lodge on the first day of the Fair. On the second day BOCCIM will host a business seminar that will be chaired by the University of Botswana. “All these initiatives are meant to build an eco-system in the business world which links small, medium and large scale businesses,” highlighted Bogatsu.
Bogatsu said other new features they are introducing to the Fair include a fan park, auto show, different five aside sports games coordinated by the Botswana National Sports Council as well as entertainment from different local artists. “All these will be happening for the first time in BNTF,” he stated. Concerning the dusty and filthy stalls, Bogatsu said they have minimized the dust by covering the ground with gravel.