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Tokafala – a mentoring programme that encourages economic diversity.

Tokafala is a three-year partnership between the Government of the Republic of Botswana, Debswana, De Beers and Anglo American. It offers mentoring, financial support and market access.

Launched in 2014, Tokafala’s goal is to diversify the economy in Botswana away from mining by developing a strong middle-class of entrepreneurs, who later become employers.

In Tswana, one of the official languages of Botswana, the word ‘tokafala’ means ‘to improve’, so it was chosen as the name for the business development programme for small, micro and medium-sized enterprises.

In time, the aim is to help almost 1,000 businesses and in turn support up to 5,000 jobs, boosting local communities and supporting the country’s economy. It also helps individuals and businesses gain access to useful government programmes such as the Poverty Eradication Programme.

Tokafala, based in Gaborone, also reflects the company’s commitment to promote gender equality and equal opportunities. About 40 per cent of businesses taking part are female-owned or co-owned.