Financial Data
Updated 06 Dec 2020


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Business opportunities and risks

Opportunities for you to do business in Botswana


Due to its diverse cultures and the population’s growing demand for affordable products and services, there are a number of opportunities for your business to capitalise on in Botswana. The country is also ranked number one in Africa according to Transparency International’s anti-corruption index. It is considered to be the least corrupt country in Africa.

Here’s how your business stands to benefit:

  • As a foreign investor, you have equal access to investment incentive schemes for medium and large projects, as long as you partner with Botswana citizens. Investors are encouraged to transfer technology and skills to the country’s citizens.
  • Foreign companies are also encouraged, but not forced, to enter into joint venture agreements with citizens or citizen-owned companies. They are also encouraged to hire qualified Botswana citizens rather than import expatriates.
  • Grants are available to foreign investors that partner with local companies. The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) was established to provide equity capital to citizens, and fund ventures between citizens and foreign investors.
Business opportunities
  • Botswana’s solid economic record has been built on revenue generated from diamond mining. This revenue was used to fuel the country’s economic development.
  • The country’s strong democracy and sound legislative policies makes for a stable investment environment.
  • There are no foreign exchange controls and no restrictions on capital outflows through financial institutions.
Operational risks to consider

Growth and development across Africa is attracting foreign investment and multi-national companies to the continent. However, here are key operational risks you should factor in to your business model when expanding into Botswana.

  • Access to Botswana is limited to road and air, due to its landlocked positioning on the continent. This can place added cost on your supply chain.
  • Inconsistent electricity supply and ongoing water shortages is also a challenge. The country receives a significant portion of its electricity from South Africa, which means that power shortages in South Africa will impact businesses operating in Botswana.
  • Botswana’s economy relies on diamond trade. This means its economy is open to external economic fluctuations, such as changes in diamond prices and variations in demand.
  • The prevalence of HIV/AIDS lowers the life expectancy of the country’s productive workforce. These diseases, combined with skill shortages, can prove challenging for businesses to operate without bringing in expatriates to work.
  • Slow development of the country’s ICT sector is leading to a growing gap between mobile (cellular) usage and Internet usage. Compared to its neighbouring countries, Botswana’s citizens do not consider the Internet an integral part of their lives. This can make it difficult for you to digitally penetrate the market.
Business challenges
  • Botswana’s economy relies on diamond trade. This means its economy is open to external economic fluctuations, such as changes in diamond prices and variations in demand.
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