Sun, 11 Apr 2021

GABORONE, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Botswana has approved an economic response plan which is targeted at addressing short-term working capital requirements for businesses, National Development Bank (NDB) relationship manager Kesego Mokgetse was quoted as saying Thursday.

Speaking during the Industry Support fund (ISF) presentation in Gaborone, Mokgetse mentioned that the government has allocated NDB 600 million pula (about 54.6 million U.S. dollars) to lend out to businesses in agriculture, tourism and general industry that have faced COVID-19 pandemic effects.

"The intention is to jumpstart the economic activity through businesses and ensure that those businesses keep their employees. The money will be split three ways with 100 million pula allocated to agriculture, 200 million pula to tourism and 300 million pula for general industry," said Mokgetse.

The current novel coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted businesses in Botswana, causing small businesses to shut down. Without customers and income, business owners struggled to pay their employees.

Botswana tourism has suffered loss of revenue, failure to service bank loans, failure to finance operation costs and rent payment. The ISF will help agriculture and tourism sectors with access to finance to ensure both their livelihoods and food security, said Mokgetse.

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