Wednesday, October 27, 2021

EU to fund Botswana’s vocational training and economic diversification

One of Botswana and SADC region developmental partners, the European Union (EU), has said that it is currently looking into possibilities for future cooperation with the country in the fields of vocational training and economic diversification.

Historically, vocational skills development, which includes practical activities such as carpentry, brick-making, gardening and building, has suffered the shadow effects of the formal education system in Botswana.

At the same time, Botswana is seeking to diversify its economy away from minerals including diamonds, its biggest export, and reduce its reliance on fuel from neighbouring South Africa, which supplies more than 90 percent of demand, leaving the country vulnerable to shortages in the event of labour strikes.

In the past there have been calls on the need to disentangle economic diversification and track it with monitoring and evaluation of programmes has been made in order to be clear on how the economy fares with current strategies.

Dr Grace Tabengwa, a former macro economists and research fellow with Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) said in order to have a deeper understanding of whether diversification strategies are paying off there is need to have diversification indicators in place to track and unbundle the non-mining sectors performance at a more micro level.

This week, as it announced the final disbursement of P40 million as part of its budget support programme for the Human Resource Development Sector Policy Support Programme in Botswana the EU said that it is currently looking into possibilities for future cooperation with Botswana under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) in the fields of vocational training and economic diversification.

The P40 million funds has been disbursed under the 10th EDF and supports actions taken to reduce the risks to a mother’s life associated with pregnancy and childbirth and to increase the survival rate of infants and children under the age of five.

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