17 December 2018


Bokone Bophirima-Botswana business exchange programmes get required support


Bonolo Mohlakoana


23 September 2016

Feelings of optimism and eagerness prevailed among the residents of Tshidilamolomo village, about 100 kilometres west of Mahikeng, and their neighbours from Botswana, over the proposed partnership to stimulate sustainable economic activities in their areas.

The plan is for communities of these villages to exchange ideas and work together, particularly with an alignment to the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) economic development initiative. The two villages share the name Tshidilamolomo and are separated by a border between South Africa and Botswana. In fact, residents of these Tshidilamolomo villages are mostly related and have been sharing some amenities for decades despite living in different countries.

The business sharing discussions were held on Wednesday this week at a gathering attended by a delegation from the Government of Botswana, Bokone Bophirima Provincial Government leadership, Tshidilamolomo residents and the traditional leaderships from both Botswana and Bokone Bophirima.

Expressing the Botswana Government's excitement about this initiative, Chairperson of Botswana's South East District Council, Phenyo Segokgo, said the idea for the two - Botswana and Bokone Bophirima province - to engage each other on issues of common interest, confirmed the leadership's concerted effort to harness the existing relationship.

"The outcome of our discussions will bond residents of these neighboring Bokone Bophirima and Botswana villages, thus enabling Botswana business people wanting to do business in Bokone Bophirima and vice versa, to do it without unnecessary restrictions, with special attention to those in affected villages," said Segokgo.

Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs MEC, Ontlametse Mochware, said sharing of not only the border between Bokone Bophirima and Botswana, but a number of similarities in the form of culture and vegetation, attracts the two neighbours to agreeably use agriculture, culture and tourism to gradually grow their economies.

"This is a momentous event for us, as it embraces the Fifth Administration's development plan which is defined through the five concretes," said Mochware. The MEC added that plans were already afoot to host a Provincial Economic Development Summit later this year, where a tangible plan of action for Bokone Bophirima province and Botswana business relations will be adopted for action.

One of the residents, Tshesebo Poifo of Tshidilamolomo from the Botswana side, applauded the initiative, saying it would afford both governments the opportunity to learn best practices in so far as agricultural farmer support programmes were concerned.