Ambassador Michelle Gavin

The US Ambassador to Botswana, Michelle Gavin, says Botswana has become one of the most desirable places to do business in Africa.

She said at the Global Expo prize giving ceremony that "the 2012 AT Kearney Global Retail Development Index placed Botswana at number 20 on its list of the top 30 most attractive markets for retailers among developing nations," adding that it is "the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to make the list."

She said Botswana got 88 out of 100 in the index, and that one of the four main factors was country risk. The US ambassador noted that Botswana has been a stable democracy since independence, adding that world headlines often focus on those African countries that have squandered their natural resources and human capital. She said ever since its first diamond mine became operational in the 1970s, Botswana has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure and in its people.

She added: "This is an exciting time to be doing business in Africa. For the past two decades, Africa was overlooked as investors rushed into places like Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, pouring billions of dollars into their economies, launching countless entrepreneurs, and building a modern infrastructure to support them. But now it is Africa’s turn. The evidence is everywhere: 
- Between 2001 and 2010, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies were in Africa.
- Between 2011 and 2015, seven of the top ten fastest growing economies will be right here on this continent.
- Just this past spring, Goldman Sachs, one of the top investment banking firms in the United States issued a report comparing the growth of business opportunities in Africa to the astounding growth in China during the early 1990s.
This is good news for businesses already established here, and it is good news for investors looking for a place to grow."

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