Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Matambo admits to challenges hindering Botswana’s competitiveness

Government has admitted that there is a wide range of issues that hinder the country’s competiveness in quest to diversify the economy that is largely dependent on one industry.

Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo, said on Monday that recent challenges to the promotion of growth and economic diversification has been the declining total factor productivity in the domestic economy, especially labour productivity.

“In this regard, Government will continue to put in place measures to promote productivity which include:
reforming the country’s education and training system; improving work ethic through training the workforce; as well as reviewing labour legislation; with a view to promoting efficiency in the labour market,” he said when delivering the budget speech for the 2015/16 financial year.

“Such labour market reforms will assist the economy to transit from mineral-led to a knowledge economy,” Matambo said.

He added that to further improve on total factor productivity, Government is implementing public sector reforms, enhancing research and development, and developing appropriate human skills.

Matambo told parliament that a comprehensive Public Sector Reform Coordination Programme will be implemented during NDP 11. “These results are expected to improve service delivery within the public sector and thus, have a positive bearing on labour productivity and economic growth.”

Last week, Dr Grace Tabengwa Ag. Senior Research Fellow and Macroeconomist at Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) advised Matambo to look at ways to address issues affecting the country’s competitiveness.

“…delivery and programme management I guess should be given priority,” Dr Tabengwa said at Afena Capital Press Club meeting at Gaborone Sun this week.

Matambo also highlighted research and development are essential ingredients in driving economic growth and keeping the country abreast of emerging global competition. Equally, he sees investment in education as a pre-requisite for a productive workforce, which is necessary for sustainable economic growth.

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