Monday, September 28, 2020

Major shake-up at Trade Ministry as Masisi establishes new economic board

The government of Botswana is said to be working around the clock and behind the scenes to set up an economic development board that will be similar to the one that was set up by Mauritius a few years back.

Firmly established as Africa’s most progressive business orientated jurisdiction, Mauritius’ forward-thinking and nimble policies have resulted in the island nation riding the wave to the centre of investment and development in Africa.

While its business-friendly framework and investment orientated tax policies are firmly established, the growing multi-sector opportunities for developers on the island are increasingly attractive for investors, developers and property professionals.

This week, Trade Minister Peggy Serame confirmed the government’s intentions to set up an economic development board that will not be too far ÔÇô in terms of role from the one established by the Mauritians.

Serame said that as part of government’s endeavour to place Botswana on a new growth trajectory, an Economic Development Board will be set up.

“We are establishing an Economic Development Board to be chaired by His Excellency the President. It is expected that the Board will be in place in 6months”, Serame said.

Serame added that Botswana will be putting in place some kind of hybrid of what pertains in a number of countries, “to ensure it fits into our own environment”.

The main objective of the Board, according to Serame, is to ensure greater coherence and effectiveness in implementing economic policies and actions as well as to guide the path to be adopted for Botswana to reach high income status.

In Mauritius, the board carries similar responsibilities of providing institutional support for strategic economic planning and ensuring greater coherence and effectiveness in economic policy formulation.

The board also provide high level strategic and policy advice to the Mauritian government on economic policy formulation.

Commenting on the upcoming development, PAC member ÔÇô Samson Moyo Guma said that the establishment of this unit is like renaming the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) which he said carries similar roles.

“What needs to be done is to have a sound development bank for the country as currently NDB is operating at a loss  and is technically bankrupt,” said Guma.

In her response, Serame acknowledged that overtime, the Ministry observed that the mandates of some of the parastatals is converging and resulting in possible overlaps and duplication. She added that the Ministry considered rationalisation of its Parastatals.

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