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Debswana and partners sign Tokafala MoU

The Botswana Government, through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anglo American, Debswana and De Beers Global Sightholder Sales to underpin the continued expansion of the Tokafala Enterprise Development programme.

Tokafala is a collaborative effort geared towards promoting economic diversification and job creation in Botswana through personalised business mentoring, advisory support tailored to the specific needs of the enterprise, and facilitating access to finance and market for clients.

The MoU establishes principles of cooperation under which the partners will work together to continue expanding the Tokafala programme to support the growth of small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in Botswana, as well as for capacity building of select Government enterprise development institutions.

Launched as a pilot programme in January 2014, the Tokafala partnership has already delivered significant performance improvements for participating businesses. This has included strong revenue growth, with participants growing revenues by an average of 39 per cent in the first two years of Tokafala's operation. Micro-sized businesses were the biggest beneficiaries, growing by an average of 260 per cent during this timeframe.

In addition, the programme has supported more than 1,500 jobs, including the direct creation of more than 280 jobs. Participants have also received significantly improved access to finance, with more than BWP11 million being accessed from commercial sources.

Vincent T Seretse, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, said: "We are delighted to be continuing our very successful partnership with Anglo American, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales and Debswana to further expand the reach and impact of the Tokafala Business Development Initiative through the signing of this MoU.

"The further diversification of Botswana's economy and the creation of new jobs for Batswana is a key priority for Government. We are delighted to have the support of our valued private sector partners Anglo American, Debswana and De Beers Global Sightholder Sales to assist us in achieving these goals and we look forward to growing the already successful Tokafala programme together."

Mark Cutifani, CEO, Anglo American, said: "A strong and vibrant business sector is of benefit to the whole of Botswana. Through the Tokafala programme, and our strong partnership with Government, we are providing a pathway to enable motivated small and medium-sized businesses rea​lise their growth potential and contribute to a strong economic future for Botswana."

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: "As longstanding partners, Botswana's interests are also our interests and, through this MoU, our partnership will be able to support even more Botswana enterprises achieve commercial success through improved market access, supply chains and access to finance."

Balisi Bonyongo, Managing Director, Debswana, said: "We have been very pleased with the success of the Tokafala programme to date and look forward to the next phase of the programme part of which will focus on Debswana's mining sites. We believe this is critical as it adds enterprise and business development to the legacy that we would like to leave in the areas around our mines and across Botswana in general".