VALUE ADDITION KEY TO INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS- MASISI

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VALUE ADDITION KEY TO INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS- MASISI
VALUE ADDITION KEY TO INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS- MASISI

Africa-Press – Botswana. Investment in the value addition to raw materials is key component towards Botswana and Africa achieving industrial development aspirations, income generation, job creation and inclusive economic growth, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said. He expressed the sentiments in an address to the business segment of Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul, Korea yesterday, before an audience that included host President, Mr Yoon Suk Yeol, heads of state and delegates from 48 African countries as well as Korean captains of industry.

Acknowledging that industrialisation had proved to be key driver of economic development globally, leading to remarkable progress and poverty eradication, Dr Masisi extolled the virtues of value addition as being crucial to igniting such progress. “Botswana’s present and future path to industrialisation is premised on the conviction that industrial development should lead to value addition in the form of mineral beneficiation, manufacturing, and most importantly, sustainable and inclusive growth,” he said.

As Africa aspires to rapidly modernise its economic base, the continent cannot afford to continue largely exporting raw goods while mainly importing finished manufactured products, the President stressed.

“I wish to state affirmatively that Africa can no longer be the saviour of the world by merely exporting her raw materials, an experiment that has failed to deliver the prosperity that her citizens so desire. Botswana and Africa’s vision of a greener and sustainable development requires adding value to our critical mineral resources, thereby generating employment, skills and revenue needed for development,” Dr Masisi said.

He said Botswana understood the importance of having strong macroeconomic fundamentals in place, sound regulatory framework and an overall enabling investment climate.

“In pursuit of reforming the business environment to promote the ease of doing business, and catalyse investment, Botswana has designated eight sites as Special Economic Zones. The targeted sectors include agriculture and agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, logistics, electronics and pharmaceuticals among others,” Dr Masisi said.

The President said Botswana’s aspirations with strategic mineral resources had been laid bare through the country’s ground breaking agreement with the De Beers Group, and the vision of government to turn Gaborone into an international diamond trade hub.

President Masisi further reiterated that Botswana would continue to nurture relations with South Korea, a partnership which had already yielded major infrastructure projects in Botswana in fields such as energy and road transport, including the Kazungula Bridge.

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