The Government has acknowledged that Botswana, and Africa at large are faced with challenges of low productivity and competiveness.
The Acting Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Claude Mojafi recently at the General Assembly of the African Productivity Association (PAPA) cited Global Competitiveness Reports (2017-2018) Sub Saharan Africa’s competiveness index which has not changed significantly over the last decade.
He stated that Africa Competiveness Report (2017) also points to the fact that trends in Africa’s competitiveness remain largely stagnant. He stated that indications are that most challenges highlighted in the Africa Competitiveness Report series since its first publication, almost 10 years ago, persist. He added that these include large infrastructure deficits, skill mismatch, slow adoption of new technologies, and weak institutions.
”We all need to appreciate that there is a positive correlation between productivity and sustainable development,” he said.
Molake further stated that one can assume that as the levels of productivity and competitiveness increase, adding that they will in turn set the level of prosperity that can be reached by the economies in Africa, and transform the well-being of our nations. He believes that to achieve sustainable development, we therefore, need to address factors that constrain productivity and competiveness in Africa, such as low productivity, poor technology, low research and development, unskilled labour and low wages, amongst others.
“A number of countries in Africa are making impressive progress in improving their competitiveness. Mauritius, for example, is ranked 45th globally in the Global Competiveness report and this makes the country the most competitive African economy,” he stated.
He spoke of C├┤te d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania, which he said have also improved their competitiveness ranking by five places or more since 2015. He added that it is not surprisingly the real GDP of these countries is forecasted to grow close to or above 7 percent over the next few years.
He is of the view that productivity objectives, if properly introduced into company and country strategies, have more potential in promoting decent working conditions and quality of life. He said if an effective way of promoting labour standards is to promote them in a package with measures for productivity improvement.