Botswana Oil to tackle unemployment (Botswana Daily News)

The Botswana Oil general manager for Corporate Policy Strategy & Business Planning, Mr Meshack Tshekedi says the expansion of coal to liquids facilities in the country will address issues of unemployment and poverty eradication in 2022.
Mr Tshekedi told the South East District Council session recently that poverty eradication needs long term projects like Botswana Oil to sustain and boost the economy of the country.
The expansion of coal to liquids facilities is estimated to employ over 20 000 people during construction and about 3 000 during operations, he said.
However, he also said the expansions of coal to liquids facilities in Francistown, Ghanzi, Palapye and Tshele Hill would not only address unemployment and poverty but also substitute the petroleum imports.
“Petroleum products are being sourced from Mozambique with Namibia to follow,” Mr Tshekedi said.
He noted that products from Mozambique were expensive due to higher port and transport charges and negotiations with Mozambique to reduce charges were ongoing.
Furthermore, he said an opportunity exists for Botswana to diversify her economy by beneficiating her vast coal resource by converting the coal into liquid petroleum products as well as other by products.
However, Mr Tshekedi assured the council that Botswana Oil would not fail to implement its plan after putting the country’s hopes high. He assured the council that they have the required expertise in the field.
Mr Tshekedi also said projects fail because the top management fails to be hands on during the initial stage of the company setup.
Furthermore, he said this would be different with Botswana Oil as the management was committed to ensure that the project succeeds.
“There is need for politicians of this country to be part of this and backup Botswana Oil as it is a project of national interest that has the potential to turn the economy around,” he said.
He said Botswana Oil was also considering setting up an oil refinery in the country and indicated that they were still weighing options.
Mr Tshekedi also said Botswana Oil intends helping Batswana to start up their own businesses to reduce unemployment rate.
Commenting, most councillors appreciated the presentation by Botswana Oil saying the information would address matters that needed immediate attention.
They promised Botswana Oil full support and added that should the company consider coming up with another project, they would be able to accommodate it within the district.
Source: Business