Botswana's new landmark set to boost job market
The newly built Airport Junction Mall will create 600 permanent jobs once fully operational, says the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr Gloria Somolekae.
Speaking at the official opening of the mall last week, Dr Somolekae said the 600 permanent jobs exclude outsourced services such as cleaning, security, facility management, among others.
Dr Somolekae added that 1 000 people were directly or indirectly employed during construction and post-construction phases.
She said in addition to job creation, the mall would boost the economy to achieve the expected growth rate of 7.1 per cent.
The growth rate was mainly spurred by the construction industry.
She also said Botswanas economy was one of those that had been resilient in 2011 despite the challenges of the world economic recession.
She said the good performance of the non-mining sectors was encouraging as it contributed to economic growth and diversification initiatives.
Dr Somolekae also said the mall would provide more competition, which is an essential ingredient in improving quality services that could result in fair prices.
Strategies that government adopted should further boost economic growth in the medium to long term, she said.
Dr Somolekae said the Airport Junction Mall was initially envisaged as a lifestyle design open to the parking area with two food anchors and food-related tenants to the maximum of 18 000 square metres.
However, because of the demand from retaillers who wanted to be represented at the centre, the design changed to a fully enclosed mall to incorporate fashion, hardware, banks and other commercial undertakings.
Once complete, the mall will comprise 50 000 square metres of gross lettable area, making it one of the top three shopping destinations in Botswana.
The mall will help reduce traffic congestion during shopping hours around Gaborone.