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Batshu urges company to use factory for expansion.

Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Mr Edwin Batshu has urged How To Us, a company owned by seven women who benefitted from an economic empowerment programme, to take advantage of their newly built factory to expand their business.

Minister Batshu said this when officially opening the factory shop in Molepolole on December 7.

The factory shop which was constructed to the tune of P1.5 million, and was partly funded by the Department of Gender Affairs and PPC company.

Mr Batshu said the financial assistance the company enjoyed was a result of their dedication and willingness to grow.

He said because of the women's commitment to their business of knitting apparels, government was compelled to assist them.

'It is government's commitment to contribute meaningfully to the lives of its citizens through empowerment programmes targeted at their needs,' he said.

He added that it had been government's stance and commitment towards Batswana since independence. Minister Batshu further explained that since women had been disadvantaged in the past, programmes such as women economic empowerment were designed to uplift them.

The programme, he said, was started in 1988 and that about 2 500 women had benefitted from it.

Mr Batshu said it was important that progress made be celebrated and that government would continue to assist those companies of groups of women who showed commitment to their projects such as How To Us.

He commended the women for a sterling job they had done despite the many challenges they faced.

He further commended PPC Cement for contributing P850 000 towards the construction of the factory shop.

He said part of it amounting to P650 000 was funded by the Department of Gender Affairs.

He said government looked at the private sector as partners in development and advised other companies to follow suit and not be left behind.

Mr Batshu urged How To Us to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by operating in a big space to supply the army, police and nurses with uniforms and lessen the huge costs government incurred from purchasing the uniform for officers outside the country.

PPC Cement general manager, Mr Tuelo Botlhole said his company felt compelled to assist the women after they had witnessed their determination and zeal to succeed. He said the construction of the factory shop commenced in 2014.

He added that his company has taken a deliberate move to assist different communities where they carried out their business as a way of their corporate social responsibility in order to give back to local communities.

How To Us representative, Ms Keitumetse Puso could not help but praise the Gender Affairs department, PPC Cement as well as organisations that had continued to give them support such as LEA and Tokafala.

She said they started the sewing project as a large group in 2005, but that along the way they lost some members.

She said gender affairs started supporting them in business has its ups and downs, she said the sewing project has created jobs for them as well as others, and that their lives had improved immensely.

The project was first started to show the ability of women and used as a vehicle towards empowerment of women in order for them to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.

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Publication:Botswana Daily News (Gaborone, Botswana)
Date:Dec 11, 2017
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