BY PORTIA NKANI
A discussion is currently taking place at the government enclave to have the Economic Diversification Drive strategy (EDD) policy turned into a law.
The Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry – Keganele Malikongwa this week confirmed that EDD legislation is on the cards.
The much anticipated law, according to Malikongwa will bind local retailers to comply when it comes to local procurement.
“It is still under discussion”, Malikongwa said adding that, “In addition, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we are reviewing the EDD strategy.”
EDD came in 2010 as one of the programmes and policies aimed at supporting the citizen economic empowerment (CEE).
Globally, the philosophy of CEE was derived from the need to build capacity of nations to respond to the changing economic and political environment and participate effectively in the decisions that affect their lives. It recognizes the need for economic development to lead to equitable distribution of income and wealth in order to improve the quality of life of citizens.
In Botswana, it is however becoming clear that both EDD and CEE have not been successful. This past week, Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) Chief Executive Officer – Dr Racious Moatshe confirmed the futile attempts made by various government agencies to empower Batswana.
“The time has come to have deliberate actions to procure locally. We struggle with Economic Diversification Drive strategy (EDD) because compliance is a major obstacle by the local producers (SMMEs). The quality may be supported but the products are not procured from local producers. Other nations they make it difficult to consume imports. The time has come for us to rise and consume local,” said Dr Moatshe.
Dr Moatshe who was launching LEA’s new strategy of 2018-2023 pleaded with local producers to up their game in producing the quality that the market requires so they are consumed to the full gathered conference.