Former Vice President, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe has said Botswana continues to wobble in attracting Foreign Direct Investment despite is international good ratings.
Dr Kedikilwe, who was speaking at the Private Business awards (PBGA) held at GICC on Wednesday night said that even “good governance” that Botswana is known of has not been of any help.
Botswana has done much in pursuing its own strategies and assembling its own baskets of incentives to attract new investments, however, not much FDI inflow has been realized.
Available figures show that Botswana’s Foreign Direct Investment decreased to P965 Million in the first quarter of 2015 from P1860.92 Million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Foreign Direct Investment in Botswana averaged P906.86 Million from 2007 until 2015, reaching an all time high of P3368.73 Million in the second quarter of 2011 and a record low of P-23.27 Million in the first quarter of 2012.
For some time, Botswana has concentrated so much on the pillars of FDI, but few investors have been lured into the country. Previously BOCCIM (Now Business Botswana) called on the government to consider marketing Botswana not alone but rather at regional level.
The outgoing Business Botswana Chief Executive Maria Machailo Ellis pointed out the example of the European Union which acts a bloc for purposes of attracting FDI. She acknowledges though that SADC has taken a step in the right direction by forming the Association of SADC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCCI) which is headquartered in Botswana. ASCCI represents 18 national chambers of commerce and industry, confederations of industries, trade associations and employer organizations in all the SADC member states. Mandated to be the voice of the private sector, ASCCI aims to enhance the private sector’s role in the regional integration agenda and its driving principle is to ensure that there is a strong and unified voice to support private sector growth and the development of a free market economy system in the SADC region.
On Wednesday, Dr Kedikilwe further noted that successive government policies and strategies such as National Development Plan and the Botswana Excellence Strategy has demonstrated government believe in the private sector as a engine of growth and called on private sector to help the falling government in the terms of FDI.