Local time: Tuesday, 25 September 2018 23:59:25hrs
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Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI)
NEDC Launch

A new Council charged with overseeing the activities of the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) was launched on September 8, at the Gaborone International Conference Centre.  The Council, dubbed the National Economic Diversification Council (NEDC) was launched under the theme “The Key to Sustainable Economic Growth and a Vibrant Globally Competitive Private Sector”.
The role of NEDC is to provide strategic direction and guidance to the EDD Secretariat and the seven thematic teams with a view to ensuring the successful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Strategy performance.  The main mandate of the council is to promote the EDD through the Short Term and Medium to Long Term Strategies. 
The council will be chaired by the minister of Trade and Industry, who will be assisted by a vice Chairperson from the private sector.  The EDD unit will be the Secretariat for the council and will be empowered to ensure full implementation of the Strategy. The EDD strategy is an all-encompassing and integrated national initiative, therefore membership of the Council includes: Labour Unions, Civil Society, the Private Sector, Parastatals, Government Ministries and Independent Departments including the six Hubs
Further to that, the council will meet four times in a year and will report to the Cabinet Committee on the Economy and Employment (CCEE) a quarterly basis.


In her opening remarks at the launch, the Minister of Trade and Industry Dorcas Makgato-Malesu said “This in itself marks significant progress in the quest to accelerate economic diversification”. 

She reminded the audience that, less than a year ago, “we launched the Economic Diversification Drive Initiative”.

The Initiative was motivated by Government’s desire and commitment to promote local production and consumption of goods and services as well as the need to develop new sources of growth, expand exports and exports markets, she said. 

She added that the import bill which averages P20 billion per annum provides opportunities for the private sector to expand domestic production of existing goods and services and produce new products.

“This is the first component of the EDD Strategy, which is being implemented by leveraging Government purchasing power to enhance participation of local enterprises”.

Malesu revealed that Government Departments, Local Authorities and Parastatals use preference margins based on turnover to give the local enterprises a  price differential advantage  when tendering, adding that at the same time Business Development Institutions such as Botswana Bureau of Standards, Botswana National Productivity Centre, Local Enterprise Authority, and National Food Technology Research Centre are required to adopt an integrated approach in developing the productive capacity of such enterprises.

According to Minister the second component of the EDD Strategy was formulated around seven key areas of intervention or thematic areas contained in the EDD long term strategy that include:

  1. Sectoral Development and Business Linkages
  2. Export Development and Promotion
  3. Investment and Finance
  4. Quality Control, Standards and Production
  5. Technology Development, Innovation and Transfer
  6. Research and Development Thematic Area 
  7. Entrepreneurship Development

The intention of the EDD long term strategy is produce a globally competitive private sector which can be weaned from government dependency.

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