Botswana’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the 2014-2018 will be presented to the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors in October this year.
A CSP assesses a country’s development prospects and challenges, the government’s strategic plans and priorities, and the role that the Bank could play (in collaboration with the government and other development partners) in helping the country realise its development goals.
In the case of Botswana, the CSP is closely aligned with Vision 2016 ÔÇô the country’s development roadmap and national development plans.
The Paper is prepared following broad-based consultations with government and various stakeholders and is also informed by the Country Economic Review. The 2014-2018 CSP is being prepared following the end of the 2009-2013 CSP for Botswana.
It is unlikely the upcoming CSP will be fundamentally different from the previous one because challenges remain the same.
The 2009-2013 CSP said of challenges: “Though Botswana is on a good footing to achieve all the MDGs except those relating to health, it faces a number of challenges, including the global financial crisis, infrastructure bottlenecks, including electricity, an undiversified economy, inadequate human capacity and skills and the need to improve the investment climate.”
The CSP considers political context and governance; economic performance and prospects; social context; environment and climate change; business environment and competitiveness; and, regional integration and trade.
In response to the challenges that a country faces (and within the context of the national development plan in the case of Botswana), the Bank group will propose a country strategy focusing on a defined number of pillars.
The strategy it will come up will aim to finance a number of projects, as well as provide appropriate knowledge and advisory services in order to best orientate the economy on a more productive and sustainable growth path.
The first pillar of the 2009-2013 CSP sought to promote the role of the private sector and small and medium scale enterprises in raising productive capacity, increasing income levels, diversifying the economy and broadening the benefits of growth.
The second pillar aimed at alleviating constraints on business activity and disincentives to investment by removing infrastructure constraints in energy, transport and water, thus enhancing competitiveness.
With regard to the latter, the Bank undertook to finance operations in infrastructure that contributed towards the government’s transport and energy sector programmes.
An AfDB team led by the Vice-President of Country and Regional Programmes and Policy visited Botswana in March this year to hold discussions with government officials to agree on areas of Bank support over the 2014-2018 period. The team held discussions with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on the draft CSP.