By John Regonamanye
The minister responsible for finance and economic development ÔÇô Kenneth Matambo this week took his time to lecturer members of the House of Chiefs, otherwise known as ‘Ntlo ya Dikgosi’ on some of commonly (mis)used economic jargons.
Matambo used the opportunity when answering a question from one of the traditional leaders Kgosi Maruje III Masunga on Thursday to explain some of common but usually misused economic jargons such as economic disparity and inequality.
According to Matambo, while economic inequality refers to the level of disparity in the distribution of income of a nation between the rich and the poor, Gini Coefficient is an index widely used as a measure for inequality particularly based on income or consumption.
The Index, said Matambo, ranges from zero (0) to one (1) where (0) means there is complete equality and (1) means there is complete inequality.
“It can also be expressed in percentage terms ranging from 0 to 100 where 0 represents complete equality while 100 represents complete inequality,” the Minister added blinding further Ntlo Ya Dikgosi membership with the economic jargon.
In his own admission, Matambo told the traditional leaders that, “inequality is one of the major developmental challenges facing Botswana.”
He however noted that Government has introduced various strategies to diversify the economy away from the mineral sector dependency syndrome including such initiatives aimed at the promotion of the non-mining sectors through Economic Diversification Drive as well as the provision of subsidized loans through the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency.
“Furthermore the Government is implementing initiatives to reduce poverty and inequality levels through among others the improvement in the quality of education, increased support for youth participation in the private sector as well as employment creation initiatives,” Matambo noted.
In 2014, An African Development Bank (AfDB) report showed that at 61 percent, Botswana had the fifth highest level of income equality on the continent. Southern Africa itself has the highest income inequality in the world. For the rest of the Sub Saharan region, the Gini index of income inequality measurement ranges from 30 percent in Ethiopia to 66 percent in Seychelles.