SPEDU is an investment promotion company owned by the Government of Botswana tasked to coordinate investment promotion and economic diversification in the SPEDU economic region.
Located in Eastern Botswana, the SPEDU region is an economic zone with a population of about 200,000 (2017 estimate of Statistics Botswana). The Region is located in the Central District of Botswana comprising four (4) geographical areas of Bobirwa, Tswapong North, Sefophe, Mmadinare and Selebi Phikwe town.
The town of Selebi Phikwe is surrounded by 52 villages, including rural settlements, and is located approximately 400 kilometres north of the capital city Gaborone. Selebi Phikwe serves as the commercial nexus of the SPEDU Region. The town is home for 49,411 people, making up approximately a quarter of the entire population of the Region.
The SPEDU Region is strategically located in Botswana and in the broader Sothern African Development Commission (SADC) Region. SPEDU Region serves as the gateway into northern side of the SADC Region through well-developed networks of roads, rail, air and commercial border infrastructure. It also conveniently connects Botswana with the South African seaports, notably the renowned port of Durban through an excellent network of roads and a number of borders notably Platjan and Martins Drift boarder post.
The economy of the town of Selebi Phikwe and its rural hinterland historically relied on copper/ nickel mining and smelting since the inception of the town in the early 1970s. In order to diversify the economy, the Government of Botswana set up the Region as a Special Economic Zone with the intention to support industrialisation through the economic sectors of Tourism, Manufacturing and Agro-Business. This is in recognition of the inherent comparative advantages of the Region evidenced by availability of ample surface and underground water resources. The Region is the home of five of the country’s major dams, the Thune Dam, the Letsibogo Dam, the Lotsane Dam, the Dikabeya Dam and the Dikgatlhong Dam. The Region also boasts highly fertile soils and a climate conducive for agricultural, especially horticulture production. The availability of land for industrialisation in Selebi Phikwe and the Region, infrastructure resources, abundant natural attractions, flora and fauna, natural resources such as granite, sandstone, marble and silica sands open up opportunity for industrialization.
SPEDU has been set up to achieve the following:
- To promote business efficiency and competitiveness in the region
- To promote inward investment and trade facilitation
- To promote employment creation
- To enhance the development and application of skills relevant to employment in the Region
- To further economic development and regeneration of the Selebi Phikwe Region
SPEDU provides the following services
- Investment promotion
- Community economic facilitation
- Facilitation of land allocation
- Recommending for allocation of land to relevant stakeholders
- Promoting investment viable projects
- Conducting research and product development
- Creating and providing data base for project planning and management
- Lobbying for special dispensations and conducive environment for doing business in the SPEDU Region
- Stakeholder coordination and facilitation of dialogue for projects development
- Providing support for entrepreneurship development
- Addressing barriers to business start- up and growth
- Facilitating market access for projects