MEWT in a bid to revive tourism businesses

The Ministry of Environment, Wildlifeand Tourism (MEWT) throughthe Department of Tourism (DOT)hosted its fi rst Market day in Gaborone thispast weekend with the objective of creatingan enabling environment for potentialsales of exhibits and linkage of exhibitorsas well as service providers for possiblebusiness growth.“The Market day is an initiative used tobring together all stakeholders who havethe potential of contributing to the eco-nomic growth of Botswana.



This day isalso meant to promote the economic diversification drive, youth empowerment andpoverty eradication initiatives within allsectors that this Ministry oversees as wellas to bring our mandate to you,” MEWTMinister, Tshekedi Khama said at the event.Businesses that graced the market dayincluded exhibitors of basketry, garments,interior decoration, products from recycledmaterials, fl owers, poultry, candles, pottery,beadwork, leatherworks, fresh plantsand natural foods which are in most casessouvenirs, business activities that promotea greener environment as well as promotingthe country’s tourism.



The market dayenabled different stakeholders to sell theirproducts to the community as well as creatinga business-networking platform wherethey could interact and share ideas, skillsand experiences.“I urge all of you to unite with us in supportof our local producers by buying whatthey sell. I must also hasten to indicatethat amongst us are service providers whoare there to offer any relevant informationneeded, which will assist your businessesto fl ourish,” he said.Among the exhibitors was the NgamilandBasket Weavers Trust, which is a localbusiness that sells traditional handcrafts ofthe Okavango in the village of Etsha 6.



Inan interview with Gazette Business, one ofthe members, Karenya Pithatho said thatthe market day was a platform they neededto sell their products and grow as a businessbecause there is no market in Etsha 6and most customers travel to Etsha for theircrafts.“We travelled all the way from Etsha 6 tobring our products closer to our customersand this kind of business is very profi tableas our raw materials are readily availablein our environment (Okavango) and basketweaving is part of tradition that enabledus to inherit the weaving skills that we arenow using to put bread on the table,” sheadded.



In another separate interview with a seniorcitizen, Mahubala Peloetletse whomakes pottery, she explained how the businessplatform allowed her to make salesoutside her home. She continued to say thatmost times her business suffers becauseshe works from home and has no workshop,which is a stumbling block becausenot many people are aware of her products.Giving a word of advice to all exhibitors,Minister Khama said; “one of the attributesof a successful business is a clean and safeenvironment. To you exhibitors, please rememberthat the customer is always rightand the customer is key and we can onlymake more salesif we treat our customers right.”