The private sector’s collaboration with the public sector is seen as a way of providing a conducive business environment geared towards advancing the country’s economic agenda, says BOCCIM president, Alex Monchusi.
Speaking at the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) on Thursday, Monchusi said the HLCC framework has continued to be the main platform where the private sector engages the government on issues of mutual interest.
He cited a few examples where BOCCIM, the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), and government have developed and started to implement the Decent Work Country Programme, which will provide the required tripartite framework for prudent governance.
Monchusi added that similarly, BOCCIM has participated in the Human Resource Development Strategy formulation and the subsequent Bill, which strives to align the education curricula to the demands of the market.
“BOCCIM has had input on the formation of current policies and legislation, suggests that indeed, BOCCIM is a development Partner to government,” said Monchusi.
According Monchusi, BOCCIM has developed a private sector Code of Ethics with the hope that its members would embrace it, adding that BOCCIM wishes to acknowledge the collaboration with DCEC in this regard.
He requested government to entice the use of the code of ethics by giving preference in government procurement to those enterprises that have embraced the code of ethics.
Monchusi stated that the private sector will similarly insist that enterprises deal with only those in the private sector that have subscribed to the code of ethics.
He revealed that BOCCIM has recently been appointed to be the headquarters for the SADC Private Sector, made up of both Employers, now named the SADC Private Sector Forum, and the SADC Chambers of Commerce.
He said the development will not only assist BOCCIM to achieve its strategic dispensation of being the apex of the private sector body, but it will certainly position Botswana well by attracting private sector activities that will benefit the local economy as well as eventually translating into increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“I am happy to announce that the European Union and the Centre for Development of Enterprise (CDE) through its Development Fund (EDF 10) have approved a total of three million Euros towards the implementation of the PSDS,” he said.
Raising concerns of the business, Monchusi said the private sector is very concerned that, with the various policies and initiatives, it continues to see very little progress on the ground, despite these well-thought out and excellent high level policies.
He said it seems to be an endless problem for the country. He stated that a concern is that the high level of commitment and dedication evident at political leadership and top civil servant level does not seem to filter down to departmental levels where these policies need to be effected or implemented on the ground.
“One sector, which is experiencing acute work shortage and eminent collapse yet can be saved, is the construction industry, where many companies have shed jobs and scaled down and where others have closed shop,” he said.