On the 11th and 12th of October, the first-ever EU-Botswana Business Forum (EBBF) took place in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, organised by the EU delegation in Gaborone in cooperation with the Botswana International Trade and Investment Centre (BITC). The EBBF brought together companies, diplomats and politicians from EU member states and Botswana. The agenda centred around five key industries that Botswana is eager to develop further, recognising their growth potential: mining beneficiation, healthcare, ICT, financial and business services, and manufacturing.
In addition to the aforementioned sectors, agriculture emerged as a recurring topic of discussion. While contributing approximately 2% to the country’s GDP (Statistics Botswana 2021), the agricultural sector plays a vital role in the livelihoods of rural communities. However, recent challenges such as drought and water shortages have led to a noticeable decline in its performance, resulting in a substential food import bill from neighbouring countries like South Africa. Taking a closer look at crop production in Botswana, the primary cereals produced include sorghum, millet and maize, while horticultural production focuses on potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, and oranges. From a business angle, this food import bill represents promising opportunities for Dutch agricultural enterprises to diversify and invest in crop production, livestock, irrigation, and agro-processing.