Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Good plans on paper and poor implementation on the ground saw us to where we are today

It is important for us as a country to ask ourselves if we are still willing to invest in programmes that would take this country ahead. As we speak there seems to be no national agenda. We are consumed by paralysis. Gridlock seems to be our defining characteristic. Many of those in cabinet seem to have a very low mental ceiling and are thus unable to internalize and understand the complex and intricate problems that the modern world has to grapple with today.

This is not how it was. It would seem like instead of the quality of our leadership improving with the times, we are instead regressing. The civil service, once the power behind the throne is today in disarray; turf wars, empire building and in some cases sheer inexperience are taking toll on the public service.

Countries like Namibia, Angola and Mozambique which were consumed by war at a time when we were a prosperous independent country are now clearly on path to overtaking us. It is very important for us as country to go back to basics and addresses just where we got it wrong. We have to evaluate if our current economic programmes which served us so well in the past still resonate with our ambitions to create a modern economy. Some people from outside believe that Batswana, taking cue from their government and political leaders are hostile to outsiders. The more uncharitable of those outsiders go as far as to say Batswana are xenophobic.

This means that when outsiders see an opportunity to come and spend their money here, they get turned off by such prospects of hostility. Our current immigration policy, where many expatriates continue to be deported on a daily basis and There is a big scope for us as a country to institute wide economic reforms. Such reforms however cannot happen unless they are backed by deep-seated rooted political will. Our political leaders need to demonstrate, not just to the nation but to the world that they are willing to reform the economy and put it on a pedestal to becoming a modern one. It is clear that we have as a country allowed ourselves to be victims of our past success.

We spend too much time speaking about our past glory instead of assessing the realities as they obtain today. This is the biggest reason why we have been overtaken by countries that were so far behind when we were part of the world success stories. Our biggest weakness that has stayed constant is that we are able to produce good policies on paper. Unfortunately we are never decisive enough when it comes to implementing those policies. As a result we have seen many countries in the region descend on our country on what they term benchmarking missions; here to literally take away copies of our policies at no cost to themselves and then fly out to successfully implement those same policies in their countries.

This is not something that we should be overly proud of because it highlights our biggest weakness which is to turn into reality the policies that we are always ably to only commit on paper. For example, we have a good citizen economic policy that has on We also have for almost twenty years now been trying to implement the privatisation policy. Millions of Pula down the line, we are still to point out what all that money has been for. We now hear that yet another privatization policy is being produced. What about the one that we have always had?

The most glaring example of the shallowness of our leadership is in the way they are trying to deal with the complex problem of unemployment. They are trying to romanticise what is a protracted economic problem by throwing at it half baked ideas with the hope that money can always be the solution.


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