INTRODUCTION TO SPEDU
SPEDU, a company limited by guarantee, is a regional economic diversification agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), set up to drive transformation of the greater SPEDU Region into a vibrant economic zone. Ambitious plans and strategies have been developed to achieve such a goal in a region that faces challenges in creating meaningful and sustainable employment, diversifying the local economy from mining, and improving the standard of living and household income levels.
Located in the eastern part of the Central District of Botswana, the SPEDU Region is an economic zone that comprises of five (5) political constituencies of Bobonong, Lerala-Maunatlala, Mmadinare and Selebi-Phikwe East and Selebi Phikwe West.
The aforementioned constituencies have a total of fifty-two (52) villages, including rural settlements. The Region is located approximately 400 kilometres north of Gaborone. Selebi-Phikwe serves as the commercial centre of the SPEDU Region. According to the 2022 Cities/Towns and villages statistics Botswana Report, the town’s population is 49 000 people.
The SPEDU Region is located strategically in Botswana and the broader Sothern African Development Commission (SADC) Region. The 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 several borders, e.g. 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. To diversify the economy of the Region, the Government of Botswana set up the Region as a Special Economic Region to drive industrialisation through the economic sectors of Tourism and Services, Manufacturing, Agri-Business and Infrastructure and ICT.
The Region prides itself with four (4) of the country’s major dams, the Thune, Letsibogo, Lotsane and Dikgatlhong ideal for horticulture and water based tourism. The Region also has highly fertile soils, fauna and flora, climate conducive for horticulture farming.
Abundance of land, infrastructure resources, natural resources such as granite, sandstone, marble and silica sands presents the opportunity for industrialization and Manufacturing within the Region.
SPEDU’s primary mandate is to carry out business as a Regional Economic Diversification Agency that facilitates and implements sustainable economic projects for job creation and social upliftment opportunities for the Region.
SPEDU’s constitution outlines its high-level objectives, interpreted as follows:
- Diversification of the economy of the region.
- Promotion of investment, attraction of investors, and facilitation of trade.
- Development of strategic infrastructure in the Region.
- Identification and facilitation of the development of skills for economic participation.
- Ensure equal distribution of opportunities for economic participation by communities.
- Attraction and procurement funding for the development of the Region.
- Conducting business in line with suitable governance protocols.
National Government Agenda
SPEDU similarly aligned its Strategic Plan to the overall national Government Agenda to ensure sustainable economic development through:
- Ease of Doing Business; SPEDU Region through coordinating stakeholders to provide service to SPEDU clients in areas such as:
- Issuance of permits and licences.
- Advocacy and lobbying for provision of infrastructure as well as reduction in utility tariff.
- The One Stop Service Center.
- Global Competitiveness; The Company contributes to this objective through facilitation the Region to become a globally competitive Special Economic Zone:
- Marketing SPEDU Region`s comparative advantages as investment opportunities.
- Implementation of SPEDU incentives.
- Lobbying for favoruble land rates.
- Facilitates production of certified products.
- Growing the SMMEs and the informal sector through;
- Assisting SMME`s with access to factory space, markert penetration.
- Cluster formation (CBO- trusts, Cooperatives, Associations).
- Good Governance and Accountability; The Company contributes to this objective by:
- Subscribing to and upholding good governance standards (King III) and internal control systems (Anti money laundering and whistle blowing system).
- Public Service Productivity and Performance through:
- Implementation of the Corporate Strategy and Performance Management System.
- Achieving Food Security through:
- Prioritising agriculture sector and its entire value chain.
- Employment Creation through:
- Facilitation of projects implementation that create sustainable employment in the SPEDU Region.