The Botswana Incentive

October 2017

Khama, Sebele and Bathoen the founding fathers of Botswana, this abundant country in the heart of southern Africa, have left a legacy of self-reliance and botho upon which Batswana have built a United and Proud nation.

In 50 years Botswana has grown from a LDC (least Developed Country) to attain upper middle-income status and the long term Vision 2036 will lead Botswana to a high income status country. The Africa Investment Index 2016 ranked Botswana as the most attractive destination for investments flowing into the African Continent. On the global competitive index of 2017 Botswana moved one notch upwards to 63rd out of 137 countries.

September 30 2017 marked the 51st independence anniversary of this modest nation following momentous Golden Jubilee celebrations last year.

These accolades and acknowledgements can be attributed to a government and people continuously striving to develop a high net worth nation. Services and conditions for investors and business are being upgraded and innovative incentives being offered to drive economic expansion and advancement.  

Some of these incentives include duty free importation of machinery and equipment for manufacturing purposes, a liberal tax regime, a deductible training rebate of 200%, raw materials for goods going outside SACU are exempt from custom duties and unrestricted foreign exchange and business ownership. This is combined with an educated, enthusiastic and keen workforce and the splendour of Botswana’s unmatched, abundant natural beauty.

Furthermore Selibe-Phikwe in the central district of Botswana, and the surrounding sub districts, has been earmarked for a special economic zone. The Selibe-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) has approved a unique set of stimulus measures to encourage manufacturing and give traction to develop the region.

Among these are 5% corporate tax for the first five years and 10% thereafter, zero customs duty on imported raw material, a direct government off-take on procurement of at least 30%, minimum 50 year land leases, provision of internet connectivity with bandwidth that promotes business competitiveness, preferential ICT rates (telecommunications, data and voice). A One stop service centre, streamlined issuances for work and other permits as well as the SPEDU conducting Strategic Impact Analysis (SIA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) permits for investors are included as further incentive.

In his message to the nation on 30 September 2017 H.E Lt. Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana said "We cannot afford to rest on our laurels; we need to hold onto our culture and traditions and preserve these ideals, for they define who we are as a nation.”

Speaking at a reception in Pretoria, South Africa, Honourable Vincent T Seretse, Botswana's Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry reflected on “A foundation built by our founding fathers who embraced the cardinal principles of self-reliance, botho, democracy, unity and development.” He also spoke of the Bi National Commission (BNC) between Botswana and South Africa referring to the annual assessment of the 37 agreements between the two countries.

Congratulating the Batswana on their achievements Director–General Kgabo Mahoai of International Relations for South Africa (DIRCO) said “Botswana is a country that has been able to utilize its natural resources to drive an inclusive economic development.” He also referred to cooperation on climate change and the Southern African Development Community(SADC).