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26 Aug 2019

By Mr Kealeboga “Killer Mkhwanazi” Jameson

When His Excellency the President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi took over the Presidency of the Republic of Botswana, he promised to create jobs for Batswana and came to be known as the Jobs President. True to his promise, HE the President is on a warpath to create jobs for Batswana by laying firm foundations that will lead to the much needed job creation. It should however be noted that the goal of all job creation strategies is to stimulate healthy economic growth, and a stable macroeconomic framework, and as well through structural policies which encourage innovation, skills, and business development.

Key to the President’s drive remains the “Spider Web” planning approach, which entails putting the main idea in the centre, (being transformation from mid income to high income) and putting threads surrounding it that support the main idea, and in this case “attracting Foreign Direct Investment, Transformation from Resource to a knowledge based economy, job creation to mention but a few”. (The Spider Web approach is based on the Ethiopian proverb that reads “if the Spider Web were to unite, they could tie up an elephant), and indeed through this approach, His Excellency the President will work wonders for our country in the transformation agenda, there is no stopping him.

According to the “Atlantic Review of Economics” Foreign investment may influence economic growth in two direct and indirect ways. “Its direct effect is that foreign investment increases production, employment, added value and export. These factors directly increase GDP; for instance, employment increases the individual’s income and this income increment is directly calculated in GDP. Likewise is for added value and export. But, foreign investment increases GDP indirectly as well; for instance, transition of technology, knowledge and know-how through license, imitation and job training. Besides, externalities, technology spillover, human capital formation, efficiency and productivity are the factors which indirectly increase GDP in economic growth”.

In his transformation drive, when officiating at the Botswana-China Business Forum in Beijing on August 31, 2018, President Masisi highlighted the need to transform to a fully industrialised, diversified and knowledge-based economy. "In this regard I am here to invite you personally to Botswana, our pride, your next investment destination. We declare with confidence that Botswana is the right and reliable place to grow your investment." He said the country was fast- tracking the implementation of Business Reform Roadmap with a view to ease doing business in Botswana and attract investment. His Excellency is walking the talk by coming up with a raft of policy reforms to promote the Ease of Doing Business in Botswana.

In following through further, the Spiderweb planning approach, His Excellency MEK Masisi just yesterday brought in the American all-round media personality, Broderick Stephen Harvey, AKA Steve Harvey, to push the youth to venture into the Creative Industry as one of the key sectors in driving the economy and creating jobs. “For us to come here and stick our flag in Botswana it feels like coming back home and this is because of President Masisi’s vision. I am impressed further by Masisi’s vision for the youth. We are Africans, we fought so hard to be where we are. This is where we belong and we are coming to create jobs.”

New research from (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) Nesta, in partnership with the Creative Industries Council, reveals that creative industries across the UK are driving local and national economic growth. Based on its research, Nesta estimates that there were 162,000 new employees in the UK creative industries between 2011-2014 and 2015-16. If the creative industries keep growing at the same pace, 900,000 new creative industries jobs could be created between 2013 and 2030”. President MEK “Masisi o a re bitsa” vows as follows: “we are going to change Botswana into a Mega Multi-Media country”, as he moves in top gear to promote the Creative and Performing Arts Industry.

President MEK Masisi and the “New” BDP approach is in sharp contrast to the UDCs “throw money at the problems” approach, which is borne out of nothing but desperation at its worst. Out of ideas, out of depth, the UDC has concocted a dangerous gamble with the future of Batswana under guise they will amongst others, introduce a living minimum wage of P3000.

Subjecting the P3000 minimum wage to detailed scrutiny reveals that it will negatively affect both the Government and Private Sector. In the ongoing Radio Botswana Public Debates, UDC members are caught wanting and are at sixes and sevens whenever they have to explain what the P3000 minimum wage entails and its impact. And it is understandable why they can not explain it, because Research shows that business reacts by cutting back on employment. Undoubtedly, the UDCs P3000 minimum wage will result in serious job loses. Financial wise, the P3000 increase will increase Government wage bill from P407 430 301 to P643 312 345 in the remaining 6 months. For the Financial Year 2019/20, the budget will increase from P643 312 345 to P822 738 000 worsening the deficit and thus creating a black hole in the Country’s fiscus.

The black hole created by this tomfoolery and downright mischief will compromise the country’s sovereign rating, deal a deathblow to our strategy of attracting FDI required for growth, resulting in HIGH RATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT, leading to a total collapse of the economy – Cry the Beloved Country.

Based on the foregoing, there is a stark choice to make: go for empty promises and empty rhetoric, that will result in a black hole and collapse the country’s economy, leading to massive starvation and high rates of unemployment as represented by the UDC; or vote for the New BDP and its New Leader MEK Masisi, who is on course to transform Botswana from a medium to high income country, who is on course to create more jobs, especially amongst the youth, and one who is going to change Botswana into a Mega Multi-Media country”. There is no stark choice after all, its Hobson’s choice, “MASISI O A RE BITSA” – VOTE BDP.

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