29 June 2010 | Nick Martindale
Botswana has begun work to use the government’s purchasing power to benefit local suppliers at the expense of imported products.
President Ian Khama said: “A major objective is to promote sustainable production and consumption of locally manufactured goods and services.
“Ministries have been directed to commence implementation of the promotion of local procurement through preference margins and reservations on the basis of a turnover threshold.”
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is driving this initiative and will be publicising further details, Khama said.
He claimed the move would lead to the creation and expansion of manufacturing facilities and called on the private sector to back local enterprises rather than purchasing products from overseas.
He said: “I look forward to any suggestions from the private sector as to how we could promote this concept.”
Any companies that had been awarded contracts to manufacture products locally but then imported goods from overseas would be blacklisted from future government contracts, he added.
The Botswana government hopes its local sourcing policy will boost employment and help to relieve poverty in the Southern African nation.