TFSA works with producers in Botswana to improve compliance and linkage to new markets

Botswana economic profile

Botswana is a landlocked country with significant mineral (diamond) wealth, good governance and prudent economic management. The country has enjoyed strong and stable growth since independence. However, the limitations of Botswana’s diamond-led development model have become more apparent. The slower growth, persistent inequality and stubborn unemployment rates, coupled with increased diamond market volatility, reduced Southern African Customs Union (SACU) transfers and fiscal expansion have resulted in eroded fiscal buffers.

The COVID pandemic has heightened the existing growth challenges, leading to an estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) contraction of 7.9% in 2020 (the largest on record). Botswana has long realised that its dependence on diamonds is unsustainable, and the government and private sector players continue to seek means for economic diversification to foster sustainable economic growth. This exploration of alternative industries and sectors is a priority of the government of Botswana. (Source: The World Bank)

TFSA sector work in Botswana

The main sectors in which TFSA work in Botswana are condiments and high value specialty foods, and cosmetics and natural ingredients. Both sectors are either actively exporting or export ready, and will benefit from trade promotion interventions, technical support with Non-Tarriff Barriers compliance, and market linkage with South African buyers, in particular, as well as international markets of interest. They have a high participation of women in the workforce, with several large women-owned businesses, and export growth will as such have a great, positive impact on women - not least in rural communities where a lot of producers are based.

TFSA works closely with sector organisation Natural Products Association of Botswana (NPAB) to provide producers with the necessary skills and knowledge to grow their export trade.

Country representative

Diana Phillimon

Diana Phillimon is an economist with a wealth of experience in international trade policy, economic policy management, regional integration, private sector development and multi-stakeholder dialogue. She currently serves as a Researcher in economic development issues at Botswana’s National Strategy Office (NSO) –under the Office of the President, influencing the development and implementation of short-term, medium-term and long-term national development plans through research. Previously, Diana consulted for the Commonwealth reviewing Botswana’s National Export Strategy at the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry and contributed to the development of the African Growth and Opportunity Act Response Strategy for Botswana.

Success Stories

“We need to gain a better understanding on the regulatory side in the green technology and renewables sector. It is critically important that we clarify the local regulatory framework and give investors the confidence and incentive to enter the South African market. The impact of us understanding that marketplace and the competencies of South African businesses means that we can increase our exports significantly.”
Chiboni Evans, CEO South African Electronical Export Council (SAEEC)
“The fact that TFSA is very cognisant of gender is really a hugely exciting part of the programme. There is the prospect of real benefits to women in trade, including rural women. If this programme has an impact on alleviating poverty by bringing more women into the value chains, offering them a better lifestyle, then that is a massive positive effect.”
Duncan Bonnet, Director Market Access and Research, Africa House
This process we undertook with TFSA of looking at what is needed to enter the European market has been a real eye opener for us, it really helped us highlight where our gaps are in terms of compliance with regulations and standards. Now we have something constructive to work towards.” Sally Paulet, Production Manager, HIK Abalone Farm, South Africa
Sally Paulet, Production Manager, HIK Abalone Farm, South Africa
“The aquaculture sector in Mozambique is very small and under-developed. TFSA is working with AMAQUA and other associations and organisations to put in some foundational blocks and build the value chain from there – none of this really exists, we pretty much have to build it all from scratch.”
Zerene Haddad, Social Impact Coordinator, Chicoa Fish Farm