Stakeholders meet ahead of be-MOBILE Francistown marathon

The organizers of the be-MOBILE Francistown marathon will meet with key stakeholders in Francistown to discuss final preparations ahead of the marathon date on February 15th. Marathon founder and chairman of the local organizing committee, Ben Tobedza told Gazette Business over the weekend that they found it fit to engage all stakeholders to ensure that they are ready to provide the perfect service on the day of the marathon.

“All stakeholders will be present, including representatives from hotels, restaurants, transport and law enforcement sectors. We want to join hands and prepare for the big day. On February 15th the city of Francistown will have guests and we must all be ready to welcome them and make sure that they have an enjoyable stay here. Remember the objective is to for them to come back and invest in Francistown,” he said.

Tobedza added that the be-MOBILE Francistown marathon should benefit all stakeholders like vendors, hoteliers, transport services and restaurants as they will all be welcoming new business into the city.

“We are positive that heightened activity will boost investor confidence and stimulate interest in the city,” he said.
The marathon has been hailed as a step in the right direction that will complement efforts to revamp the city’s ailing economy. Another key stakeholder in the marathon is Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO), which has embarked on a campaign to promote domestic tourism by creating awareness of the Botswana tourism product and encouraging local travel. The be-MOBILE Francistown marathon is in line with BTO’s “explore your Botswana” campaign as it will revitalize the city’s tourism industry, generate visitor spending and benefit smaller industries like vendors and taxi operators.

When addressing the Francistown investment pitso last year, then Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said Francistown is ideal for investments as it is strategically positioned as a gateway to the north, which includes the Chobe, Okavango and Makgadikgadi areas. Francistown is also the route to the eastern parts of Botswana where some of the country’s biggest dams and tourism potential is located. The city is located at the intersection of the main routes to Zimbabwe and Zambia and can therefore play a pivotal role in driving investment growth and providing linkages to the SADC region. Dr Kedikilwe also revealed that Francistown has been designated a Mining Supplies and Logistics Special Economic Zone, as part of government’s efforts to establish Special Economic Zones, aimed at minimizing red tape, expediting infrastructural development and diversifying exports.