Botswana: BITC, SPEDU Commit to Project

By Tshepo Mongwa

Gaborone — The project to set up an aircraft manufacturing plant in Selebi Phikwe by Brite Star Aviation is one of government’s initiatives to resuscitate the Selebi Phikwe economy and the SPEDU region after BCL Mine closure.

That was said by Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) acting chief executive officer, Mr Meshack Tshekedi in Gaborone on August 28.

He explained that the move was now in the verge of reality as signified by the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Brite Star Aviation from United States of America with SPEDU, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB), BITC, Selebi Phikwe Town Council (SPTC), Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) as well as Ngwato Land Board.

Mr Tshekedi said after the BCL Mine was put under liquidation, the Ministry of Investment Trade Industry, BITC and SPEDU as well as relevant stakeholders came together and came up with ways to attract investors to come and set up businesses in Selebi Phikwe to keep SPEDU region economically vibrant and sustainable and also contribute towards the country’s economy.

To achieve this objective, they targeted automotive and aviation industries that have vast experience in the respective fields, he added.

He said government agencies and relevant stakeholders developed a specific framework that had customised incentives to encourage and attract investors to the region.

They also visited four countries namely Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to engage with investors to setup in Selebi Phikwe.

He said they managed to link up with Magnus Aviation in Hungary, which was involved in aircraft manufacturing in USA.

He said after the link up, the organisation expressed interest to set up an aircraft manufacturing plant in Botswana.

He noted that after a couple of meetings with Brite Star Aviation and government agencies in preparation for setting up the aviation project in Botswana, an MoU was signed.

For his part, CAAB chief executive officer, Mr Geoffrey Moshabesha noted that the project to set up an aircraft manufacturing plant in Selebi Phikwe was a welcome initiative.

He said the project would boost the economy of the country and help develop the aviation industry.

He expressed excitement and said he was looking forward to the implementation of the project.

In addition, he said it would change the economic landscape of Selebi Phikwe, adding that the marketing of the project would also benefit Botswana and the SADC region.

He said the company would not only be selling aircraft in the country but outside and globally.

He said another positive aspect of the project was that it would allow students locally and internationally to train in Botswana.

He said the project put a lot of pressure on BITC, SPEDU, CAAB, SPTC, Ngwato Land Board and Brite Star Aviation and other partners in the agreement to see the project

being implemented according to its specifications and on the targeted time frame.

He said the objective to setup the plant was in line with CAAB’s mandate of developing the aviation sector, although CAAB’s main mandate is to regulate the aviation field.

For his part, BIUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo said the collaboration of BIUST, Brite Star Aviation and other government agencies on the project meant that they would be committed to working together as partners to teach, train and empower the nation’s young minds with the requisite skills in aviation engineering and similar programmes of study.

He also mentioned that recently, BIUST signed a MoU with Ethiopian Airlines Enterprises to collaborate on programmes and activities geared towards imparting the necessary knowledge, expertise and skills in areas of aviation and aeronautical engineering.

The Brite Star Aviation aircraft manufacturing plant project is in line with BIUST’s quest to get young minds to acquire the knowledge, expertise and skills in the aviation and aeronautical field.

In addition, he said, the move was in line with BIUST’s mission to driving Botswana to be a skilled and knowledge based society.

He said through the MoU, BIUST sought to deepen its commitment to providing the highest form of specialised learning and to strengthen BIUST’s core missions of research, innovation and application.

Source : BOPA

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Botswana: BITC, SPEDU Commit to Project

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Posted by on Sep 1 2017. Filed under Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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