The SSKIA-SEZ project is part of an initiative that is the brainchild of the Business and Economic Advisory Council of Botswana (BEAC), which recommended the development of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Policy for Botswana. The SEZs are geographically delineated economic areas run by their own SEZ Authority, responsible for providing an investor-friendly business environment with a view to attracting both domestic and foreign investors. Eight strategic areas across the country have been identified for promoting the development of a variety of world class industries that will lead to the diversification of the country’s economy through public sector, private sector and public-private partnerships.
Manfred Uken, Director Strategic Business Development for Transport and Planning in Africa at Royal HaskoningDHV states, “The SSKIA-SEZ is an exciting six-month project that is planned to be completed by the end of August 2017 and fits in well with our goal to help develop business and job opportunities on our continent.
It also complements the work we are already carrying out at the Aerotropolis for King Shaka International Airport (in Durban, RSA). The SSKIA-SEZ will offer business in Botswana the opportunity to develop in a modern, focused and efficient environment”. Royal HaskoningDHV will provide the Urban Design Master Plan; the Landscape Design Master Plan; a Strategic Environmental Assessment; a Hydrogeological and Geotechnical Survey; a Traffic Engineering Study and a Topographical Survey.
The SSKIA-SEZ will be a mixed-use economic zone that will house several ‘high tech’ organisations such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), which is a science and technology park to aid in diversifying the economy and help transform Botswana into a knowledge economy, thereby promoting research, development, education and innovation.
In addition, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), an integrated Investment and Trade Promotion Authority (ITPA) with an encompassing mandate of investment promotion and attraction, export promotion and development, including management of the National Brand will also be incorporated within the mixed-use economic zone.
This is topped off with the addition of the Diamond Hub which was established to coordinate economic activity in the Diamond Sector, administering beneficiation activities in rough and polished diamond trading, cutting and polishing industry, jewelry manufacturing, and secondary trading of rough and polished diamonds.