Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Botswana’s wealth distribution unequal ÔÇô UNDP, AFDB

A collaborative research paper conducted by three international partners, the African Development Bank (AFDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme has listed Botswana amongst the countries whose distribution of wealth and level of development amongst its citizens as unequal.

A recent report by the three organisations paint a worrying picture that says, while the government of Botswana has a reputation for prudent management of mining revenues and also boasts of a good governance record as well as stable democracy, its formula of sharing wealth leaves a lot to be desired. This latest report compliment the 2011 CIA World Fact book, which showed that Botswana ranks fourth-worst in the world on the measure of inequality in wealth distribution with a lower Gini Coefficient than Sierra Leone, Haiti, and the Central African Republic.

The three partners’ state in the African Economic Outlook (AEO) report which presents the current state of economic and social development in Africa that with a Gini coefficient of 0.61, Botswana portrays a relatively unequal distribution of wealth. AFDB, OECD and UNDP uses the findings of the research work to project the outlook of respective countries for two consecutive years. The report is supported by recent available data drawn from several sources: national statistics offices, ministries, multilateral development institutions, investors, civil society and the media.

An international team of researchers, economists, statisticians and other experts analyse economic, social and political statistics and present them in a format accessible to the public. The AEO report on Botswana shows that the incidence of poverty is also high, with 18.4 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Other challenges include a high unemployment rate of 17.8 percent, and relatively low Human Development Index (HDI) ranking and score mainly due to the high HIV/AIDS prevalence of 23.4 percent that drags down life expectancy.

Experts who worked on the multilateral African Economic Outlook (AEO) report highlight that while the government has a reputation for the prudent management of mining revenues the need for diversification remains critical. The performance of the domestic economy improved in 2013, continuing the recovery that set in after the 2008/09 global economic crisis. Real GDP growth is estimated to have increased to 5.4 percent in 2013 from 4.2 percent in 2012, mainly driven by service-oriented sectors, notably trade, transport and communication, public and financial services.

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