President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi,has disclosed that his government is interested in boosting local tourism by allowing them to explore other options of generating revenues in tourism.
According to a report by allafrica.com,he disclosed this during a television speech while stating that Botswana’s tourism sector needs to be boosted towards creating alternative means of survival after having suffered losses form the novel COVID19 pandemic.
“In order to revive Botswana’s tourism sector, government shall accelerate initiatives aimed at stimulating local and international tourism by creating an enabling environment for increased investment in the tourism sector, in particular citizen participation,” he said.
According to Masisi said, one of the means of gaining alternative revenues is by allowing local farmers keep wildlife within their buildings
“The agro-tourism guidelines are also being reviewed to facilitate citizens to make a decent living out of their fields (masimo) to complement agro-tourism and diversify its products. Game farming guidelines shall soon be issued to enable those Batswana who are interested to keep small game or wildlife in their fields if they meet set criteria,” Masisi added.
A farmer Banks Ndebele has earlier applied for permission to groom small animals within his building outside the capital Gaborone.
Ndebele,said despite an applaudable decision, the government must ensure a smooth implementation of the policy without bureaucratic obstacles.
“I think it’s a welcome development. It has always been our belief that agriculture needs to be diversified. One only hopes that the government will remove bottlenecks and impediments that end up discouraging people from taking up the initiative,” Ndebele said.
In Botswana ,tourism is a major contributor to the southern African nation’s economy which employs almost 100,000 people.
With the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic crippling international travels across the globe, Botswana as a tourism nation may be on a threshold of buiding another source of tourism with wild animal breeding as an option.
Many tourism friendly countries around Africa may be towing the path of Botwana in creating a new escape route from the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic.
By Francis Ogwo