Saturday, June 2, 2018, MFA Press) —Kenya and Botswana will work closely through their respective business people to encourage trade between the two countries which currently is way below potential, Hon Ababu Namwamba, Chief Cabinet Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has said.
Speaking when he presided offer the 2ndKenya-Botswana Diaspora Investment Forum held today at Fairgrounds Holdings, Gaborone, Hon Namwamba said Kenya and Botswana had cordial relations at the political front but sadly the same cannot be said on the business-to-business relationship on the trade front.
“We have agreed with the Ministry for Investment, Trade and Industry Madam Bogolo Joy Kenewendo to revisit a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding that clearly stipulates how to our two countries can trade better and increase the volumes which as we speak remain way below potential,” Hon Namwamba told the Forum.
He said ways to grow volumes of trade between the two countries include joint participation in trade-oriented activities, deliberately promote ICT, e-commerce and exchanges on the livestock industry. Kenya will at the same time encourage its traders through the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop the golf courses including one in Lobatse.
Hon Namwamba called on the Kenya Diaspora in Botswana to lead the way in these investments.
“More than the economic capital you provide through remittance, you possess a wealth of experience and know-how in many disciplines that would be of great beneficial back home and even your current host country,” he told the Diasporians.
He said the Government was working to harness the collective collateral of the Diaspora’s business contacts, networks, opportunities, successful ventures, influence and power developed over time to leverage Kenya’s position and interests in the globe.
He said efforts by the Government to engage the Diaspora has borne good result exemplified by the growing Diaspora remittance which is currently estimated at Kshs. 222 billion; the largest foreign exchange earner ahead of Tourism and horticulture. It is estimated that if this trend continues, remittances could increase from 195 Billion in 2017 to 250 Billion in 2018, an increase of 25%, accounting for 3.7% of the GDP.
During the function, the Chairman of Kenya Botswana Diaspora Association Mr Tom Ochieng Atonga briefed the CAS on the challenges they currently face as Diaspora and requested that the Government intervenes to resolve them.