The Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) and the Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry Manpower (BOCCIM) signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday that recognises that the campaign on productivity has hitherto been centred on the public service to the exclusion of the private sector.
┬áExecutive Director of BNPC, Thembo Lebang, says “the prime purpose of this arrangement is essentially to cement the relationship existing between our two organisations”.
┬á“As you might be aware, BNPC, unlike law enforcement organisations uses persuasion┬á to deliver on its mandate of sensitising people and organisations on the importance of adopting tools that would enhance productivity levels in their operations,” says Lebang.
┬áHe pointed out that his institution can only work effectively in partnerships since they are a catalyst organisation.
┬áAccording to Lebang, the importance of the strategic partnership with BOCCIM lay in the fact that it will broaden BNPC’s working base by facilitating access to business enterprises affiliated to BOCCIM, thus penetrating the private sector.
“In this respect, the idea of the MOU is to spell out the special rights, obligations of each of the partners and specify in clear terms the objectives of the relationship,” says the BNPC director.
┬áOne of the strategic objectives of the MOU is to identify and deliver appropriate private sector skills training, monitoring and mentoring programmes for employers and employees.
┬áDevelopment of regulation compliant programmes that will catapult the private sector in line with national and regional initiatives forms part of the stated objects of the agreement.
┬áTo this end BOCCIM is expected to act more as a conveyor belt in ensuring that small and medium scale enterprises associating with BOCCIM get the most out of BNPC’s services and training programmes.
┬áExecutive Director of BOCCIM ,Maria Machailo-Ellis, is delighted at the grand beginning:┬á “For far too long, efforts at injecting a new attitude towards work and improving productivity have been directed solely at Government,” says Machailo-Ellis.
┬á“This comes only a day after the launch of the Global Competitiveness Report at the Gaborone International Convention Centre on Tuesday, by the BNPC which has a strategic partnership with the authors of the report, the World Economic Forum,” says Ellis.
She says the notion that Batswana tend to have a negative attitude towards productive labour might emanate from the fact, unlike colleagues in neighbouring countries, they seem to have gotten used to getting everything the easy way “whilst experience has taught our colleagues that in work as in everything, nothing comes of its own, and this has to some extent given them an edge over us”.
She was responding to a question suggesting that Batswana in the private sector here generally believed to be lazy.
Lebang urges that the generalisation should not be based on speculation. “It should be stated, nonetheless that the issue arose from the Global Competitiveness Report which draws its authenticity from the fact that it is based on the Executive Opinion Survey conducted in the country,” says the BNPC official.
Against this background, it is generally expected that through the variegated strategic partnerships that BNPC seeks to build with organisations, the real cause of the problem will be tackled.
┬á“Today’s initiative is in fact a small but significant step in that direction,” concluded Lebang.