There is a deep irony and even paradox about what Botswana Development Corporation was established for and what the state owned company has been doing lately.
BDC was established by Botswana Government in 1970 as its premier investment vehicle.
The company has a genuine and fair claim to being one of Botswana’s earliest and indeed enduring blue chips.
Botswana has close to 300 billion tonnes of known coal reserves underground.
The actual figures are probably much higher. It is thus befitting that on his recent trip to China, President Mokgweetsi Masisi chose coal as one of his key selling points.
Choosing coal as an integral component of our sales pitches has come rather too late and half-heartedly.
The last few years have seen a rapid growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the world.
A little over 100 million Chinese tourists are known to have travelled from the mainland last year alone.
The thinking among our economists, too often is to run to make calls for diversification of economy away from minerals.
There is nothing wrong with that. But such calls, when they are not accompanied by related calls to reduce excessive dependence on Government do not mean much.
Minerals, especially diamonds have for Botswana been both a boon and a burden.
Delivering a keynote address at the Serowe Agricultural Show last week, President Mokgweetsi unveiled his Government’s big and ambitious commitment to the Agriculture sector.
He started by spelling out reforms that Government feels are needed – not just in the sector itself but also in other related ones.
The world over, Independence Day celebrations mean much to citizens.
This does not only apply to countries that had to wage a war for independence, but even for those countries that peacefully got their independence.
The same cannot be said about Botswana.
This was not always like this.
Just last week, Botswana Government announced that they have given Botswana Meat Commission just over P100 million to pay farmers.
We want to profusely thank Government for this gesture.
In the same vein it would be remiss or even irresponsible if we did not immediately highlight just how inadequate the money is.
There is need for more policy clarity on energy supply, including and more especially on solar and renewable.
That can only be achieved through publishing a document plan that is made available to the public.
The plan once published should be comprehensive and realistic enough to be achieved.
It should set targets and time frames.
What efforts are in place for Botswana to transform itself into a fully-fledged digital economy?
The true answer is “Not much.”
Yet that really is where the world is moving.
The good thing for Botswana is that not all is lost.
It is also not too late.
Most fundamentals are already in place.
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