Thursday, May 6, 2021

Botswana amongst Africa’s best MDG performers

Botswana is among African countries that have performed satisfactorily in some of the goals specified in the Millennium Development Goals ÔÇô or MDGs as they are commonly known. Goal 3 aims to “promote gender equality and empower women” and its Indicator 3.2 encourages nations to increase the “share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector”. The best performers in terms of attainment of this indicator are Botswana, Ethiopia and South Africa. In terms of Goal 6, countries committed themselves to “combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases” and through Target 6B, endeavour to “achieve by 2010, universal access to treatment of HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.” Botswana, Comoros, Namibia, Rwanda lead the pack in that particular order. Goal 7 is an exhortation of African countries to “ensure environmental sustainability”, in one respect, through meeting Target 7C which requires them to “reduce by halve, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, by 2015.” The continent’s best performers are Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda and Swaziland. This grading was done by the African Development Bank (AfDB) which explains that “Top ranked performing countries with respect to each target/indicator that have made the greatest improvements from their initial conditions – not necessarily those that have reached the targets.” Although President Ian Khama has made poverty eradication one of the cornerstones of his economic programme, Botswana is not doing too well in that regard seven years into his term ÔÇô at least according to the assessment of the AfDB. The very first goal of the MDGs is to “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” with specific targets of halving (between 1990 and 2015), the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day per person; achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people; and halving (between 1990 and 2015), the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. The best performers in the first category are Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Morocco and Tunisia; Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Togo and Zimbabwe in the second; and Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea?Bissau, Mali, South Africa and Tunisia in the third. The MDGs, which were formulated to significantly reduce extreme poverty, hunger, disease and achieve social progress by 2015, were adopted at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000 by Heads of State and Government. The MDG rankings are published in AfDB’s latest (2014) annual report which also reveals that Batswana who are working for the bank constitute 0.9 percent of total staff. Numbering 11 total, there is one director, five professional-level staff and five professional-level staff members in international field offices. Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Cornelius De Kop, is an alternative director in the Board of directors for both AfDB and the Africa Development Fund. Four major rating agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, and the Japan Credit Rating Agency) reaffirmed the bank’s AAA and AA+ credit ratings for its senior debt in the year under review. At the end of 2014, the bank had paid-up capital amounting to US$4.86 billion.

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