Botswana: Mohohlo suggests targeted budget allocation

Botswana: Mohohlo suggests targeted budget allocation

Date: July 17, 2011
  • SHARE:

Bank of Botswana Governor Linah Mohohlo has suggested targeted budget allocations for women in order to help redress constraints in the informal sector. Officiating at the 12th National Women’s Exposition, Mohohlo said women face the persistent constraint of limited or no access to bank finance for small businesses, partly due to inadequate property rights.

The governor implored the nation and local government to join hands in redressing these constraints faced by women entrepreneurs in the informal sector. She said targeted budget allocation will unlock potential and help upgrade informal business activities into formal and medium enterprises that would contribute to economic diversification. As a result of women having limited access to bank credit, capital for most women-owned businesses is sourced from relatives and personal savings.

Moreover, she said, women also face the challenge of limited or no basic bookkeeping knowledge, no market information and networking. “Faced with these difficult circumstances, some businesses are conducted in homes; the deficiencies in basic bookkeeping result in widespread failure to honour debt obligations on time, and market information is obtained from the grapevine,” Mohohlo said.

She added that growing the informal sector into formal small and medium enterprises is multi-dimensional and urged all stakeholders to play an active role. Mohohlo said it is incumbent on policy makers to help minimise the constraints that stand in the way of realising the abundant opportunities of small and medium enterprises. She called upon non-governmental organisations, especially the Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower to review their mission and programmes to fit in the need for informal sector information and networking, marketing and cross-border trade. She said institutions of learning could collaborate and offer affordable lessons on basic bookkeeping and business skills.

“BEDIA (Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority) can network with BOCCIM (the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower) in providing export market information for the very exquisite Botswana hand-made products, especially pottery, baskets, leather works and carvings,” she said, adding that women entrepreneurs should register their products with the Botswana Bureau of Standards.

For his part, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Peter Siele said his ministry supports women economic empowerment hence the country’s continuity in striving to assist women close gender gaps that are inherent, especially in the economic and trade spheres.

He said there is no doubt that the informal sector plays a crucial role in the economy, with women’s contribution in the sector being very significant.

More than 200 women had exhibits at the event, held under the theme: Women Entrepreneurs in the Informal Sector: Pillars in Economic Diversification.


Comment on Botswana: Mohohlo suggests targeted budget allocation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *