Thursday, July 18, 2024

Import restrictions – an economic resuscitation and citizen empowerment tool 

Import restrictions are a tried and tested approach to managing economies across the globe. One would take reference to Food and Agricultural import ban introduced by Russia in 2014 as an instrument of growing their local market and effectively managing over-dependencies from imports. Economic restriction has been utilized for varying purposes by countries in the global north such as United States (US) and European Union (EU). In the quest of exploring ways of empowering the locals, developing value chains and enhance food security while rectifying the historical anomaly of import and export imbalance, Botswana has lately introduced the import ban on a list of vegetable products in January 2022. The vegetable import restriction was subsequently followed by the uniform import restriction imposed early 2023. This time around, the media is abuzz with news of cement import restrictions. These events provide substantial evidence of the deliberate direction the Government is taking of devising ways of empowering citizens and promoting consumption of locally produced goods while taking control of some of the supply chain activities. 

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