Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Are we falling behind in export diversification?

It looks like Botswana is failing on its export diversification particularly that the country is lagging behind on its diamond beneficiation.

Permanent Secretary in Office of the President, (OP) Kebonye Moepeng revealed before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee that there was a need for De Beers Company to come up with a good strategy and go into jewellery by way of setting up a manufacturing industry in Botswana.

She said this would be a value addition to the economy of Botswana than the company investing outside and benefiting outsiders than Batswana.

She said it was time the National Strategy Office worked closely with De beers and made recommendations for a diamond cutting and polishing company to create job creation and reduce poverty in the country.

This was after Member of Parliament for Tati East Guma Moyo questioned what would happen if diamonds were depleted.

She said there was a need for the National strategy office to work on the recommendations clusters which was put forward before Cabinet in 2013 by Professor Michael Porter.

Porter recommended that export diversification of the prioritised areas of diamonds, tourism beef and financial services be looked into.

Specially Elected Member of Parliament Bogolo Kenewendo was not happy with the answer asking the PS to explain what had been done in developing the report with reference to a particular cluster which they felt could be developed and  benefit Batswana.

The PS could not to explain this safe to say clusters could not be developed overnight.

“If we are expecting results overnight that’s very ambiguous and we would not achieve our desired results,” said Moepeng

She said there were currently working on ways to see if diamond manufacturing like jewellery in Botswana could help and they were doing that by putting strategies in place before they could rush to tell Batswana on what to expect from export diversification relating on diamonds.

She said government was currently working on the National Strategy on Evaluation and Monitoring as a way to have some index indicators to help establish success and failures of government.


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