The World Economic Forum (WEC) on Global Competitiveness for 2009-2010 pointed out on Tuesday that Botswana is losing grip on the international competitive ladder slouching from position 76 in 2007 to 66 in the current year 2009.
The drop in rankings comes at time when the 1.8 million populated southern African nation is faced with a raft of challenges among them the impact of the global economic crunch and internal inefficiencies that limit the country to compete effectively in the international markets.
Dabilani Buthali, Manager, Information and Research Services at Botswana National Productivity Centre, on declaring the Report launched, said, “These call for reflection by policy makers and all of us at a national level, with a view to determining the way out.”
Buthali further indicated that BNPC can only facilitate at a limited level in terms of research and recommendations, “while solutions lay beyond our mandate given the seriousness of the challenges.”
WEC and the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC),– a government sponsored orgainsation aimed at raising the productivity levels in the country– have entered into a strategic partnership that entitles BNPC to launch the Global Competitiveness Report.
Whilst it is a matter of common knowledge that economies around the world had been hit hard by the global financial crisis, it emerges that a number of other factors which have an internal bearing have to a large extent contributed to the country’s dwindling economy.
Poor work ethics, inadequately educated staff and very limited or no access to financing for local investors, are some of the culprits blamed by the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) for Botswana’s situation.
Inefficiency on the part of top officials and unnecessarily long and therefore costly processes is reportedly another factor that unless addressed, has the potential effect of downing further the landlocked Southern African state into the already increasing mire of economic woes.
In terms of infrastructure development Botswana is thought to be still be lagging behind.
Indicators show a consistently declining macro-economic stability, and evidence pointing out that Botswana is losing a competitive edge over some of the regional member states such as Mauritius and South Africa.
Further, the report stated that the country is not technologically ready to compete on global scale.
“Notwithstanding this, it may be worth highlighting the fact that, there is a tendency by organisations to jump to sophistication before adopting the basics in the effort to adapt to corporate and international standards,” said Matlho Kgosi, BNPC Consultant.
“The effect of this has been neglect of aspects such as employee engagement, and failure to appreciate the importance of improving the quality of staff as well as service quality,” she said.