Ideas Expo Launch 2015

As Prepared For Delivery | June 4, 2015 | Gaborone

Good afternoon. What an honor to be at the launch of Ideas Expo Botswana 2015.

The Ideas Expo Botswana is the brainchild of one of our 2014 Mandela Washington alumni, Mr. Tumiso Mabusela. Ideas Expo Botswana is a multifaceted platform created to celebrate and develop Botswana’s creative industries. Every year, the Ideas Expo hosts a week-long program to showcase the local creative economy. This week brings the best of business, technology, and creativity in Botswana together through a conference, exhibition, workshops, and networking sessions.

This year, the U.S. Embassy is supporting Ideas Expo Botswana through the participation of an American professor, Michael Goldberg of Case Western University, who will give a presentation on Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs, private sector representatives, and government stakeholders will collaborate with Michael creating work environments that best foster entrepreneurship in Botswana.

As Vice President Biden said last November at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, entrepreneurship “is about creating an entire climate in which innovation and ideas flourish”. Through the creation of new ideas, goods, and services, entrepreneurship stimulates economic growth and diversification. By working to establish a business culture more open to a variety of ideas, entrepreneurship will allow Botswana’s economy to continue to grow.

This is why the U.S. government has partnered with Barclay’s Banks to provide $15 million in loans to small and medium-sized businesses, which has improved access to credit for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses in Botswana.

And I applaud the Government of Botswana’s recent establishment of the National Single Window, a platform that makes trade faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

Again, I am delighted to take part in this opening ceremony.

Enjoy. Thank you. Pula.