Botswana entrepreneurs, most of whom were very pessimistic last year, are rubbing their hands gleefully and expect to amass riches this year following government’s expected increased spending which has spawned a business feel good mood.
According to a study on medium to large privately held businesses across 32 countries and 7,200 participants around the world by Grant Thornton, Botswana business owners are very positive regarding the country’s prospects. Botswana business owners are the second “most positive” in Africa after South Africans regarding their country’s prospects.
“Business confidence in the economy of Botswana has increased remarkably from -12 to +41 percent, taking Botswana on the optimistic plane compared to last year”, states the Grant Thornton’s 2007 International Business Report (IBR). Although below the global average of +45, the local business community has turned around to be more positive in their outlook on Botswana’s economy.
Jay Ramesh, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Botswana, credits the new business feel good mood on the government’s increased focus on the mining sector.
“Over the past year, we have seen the establishment of diamond cutting and polishing industries, the shifting part of the activities of the diamond trading centre from London to Botswana and the development of the copper and nickel refining project. These actions are expected to increase in economic activity.”
The focus that government has placed on “implementation” in the current year’s budget is expected to pave way for an energetic completion of projects started during prior years. The increased spending within the economy will assist more, especially the citizen entrepreneurial businesses, to achieve economic success. It will also aid in increasing the recovery levels of various loan schemes introduced by government. The report also ranked Botswana 9th among the 32 countries that participated in the survey where women fare well in the business world. The percentage of women in senior management roles in Botswana is 31 percent taking the seventh place among the participating countries.
“This reflects on the confidence placed in women by the owners and stakeholders in the business field. Women in Botswana are even placed high on the international positions worldwide” states the report. The global economy is enjoying its strongest and most sustained expansionary phase since the early 1970s, on course for its fifth year of vigorous growth. The report stated that one of the reasons for the current expansion is that dependence on the U.S. to propel international growth is greatly reduced.