Saturday, July 2, 2022

BIDPA’s P3 million BOCCIM mining assignment

Ten years ahead of the projected ceiling point for the production of diamonds in the country, Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry Manpower (BOCCIM) has assigned Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) to carry out an assessment of what the implications would be for the country’s economy.

Although, initially when BOCCIM asked for the funding they intended the study to determine the impact of the recession, a delay on part of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in releasing the money, it was decided that a the scope of the study be expanded to cover the implications of the end of the precious stone boom.

Maria Machailo-Ellis, Executive Director of BOCCIM said, “While the initial idea behind the study was to enable informed and constructive engagement with government on the possible interventions to stimulate private sector involvement in the economy, things tended to move so fast we had to reconsider the scope of the study.”

Machailo-Ellis pointed out that his organisation had to expand the scope of the study to ensure it covered the period after the anticipated end of the precious stone boom.

“This is because any talk of diversification cannot make sense without the private sector’s involvement, in fact on the contrary it is a given that the role of the private sector will be much higher in the diversification of the economy,” posited BOCCIM’s CEO.

She indicated that, yet to make any meaningful proposal as to how pump up money productively into the economy it would be necessary to have concrete data on the basis of which it would be possible to allocate roles for everybody involved.

For example, one of the tasks of any post diamonds -era projection would be to come up with a public-private sector strategy that will be aimed at building private sector competitiveness, laying out what the private sector needed to do as well as stipulate what incentives would be involved.

Again, in Machailo-Ellis’ view assurance of how much private sector funding would be needed is a matter that will be addressed by the public-private sector strategy. In the same vein the issue of public private partnerships cannot fail occupy a prominent role.

“We are currently in the process of opening an account so that the AfDB could accordingly deposit the money, upon which the study will immediately take off,” explained BOCCIM Chief Executive Officer.
On why they chose to appoint BIDPA for the study, she said the institute has by far proved itself in many previous national assignments that it has the expertise, the capacity and therefore capable of undertaking a project of the magnitude of the one at issue.

“But more importantly they have entrenched knowledge of the country’s economy as well as its policy landscape, which gives us the confidence to invest our hope on it,” concluded Machailo-Ellis.
She acknowledged that this would be the first huge project in financial terms to be handled by her organisation, at ever since she joined “the voice of Business”.

Information passed to The Telegraph shows that even though Government helped facilitate funding for the BOCCIM study, only BOCCIM would be contributing 10 percent (P200 000) of the total cost of the project which is in the tune of P2.96 million pula, and P2.7 set to be paid by AfDB.
Dr. Happy Fidzani Economist and Researcher at BIDPA was held up in another important meeting, in preparation for a workshop he was set to feature prominently on Tuesday, although he would have liked to communicate the details on the project assigned to them.

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