Thursday, July 18, 2024

Motswana economist supports IMF/World Bank stance on downsizing public sector

As global financial institutions rooted in colonial exploitation, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have never been genuinely invested in uplifting Third World countries – which have been re-nicknamed “the Global South.” For that reason, many are highly suspicious of calls by these institutions that Botswana should downsize its public sector in order that it can reduce the wage bill. However, that is the exact same conclusion that a Motswana economist has reached when fulfilling requirements for a post-graduate programme that he was pursuing at the University of Botswana. He also makes recommendations that won’t sit well with politicians, trade unionists and marquee retail chain store owners.

For more than two decades now, the IMF and World Bank have raised alarm about Botswana’s ever ballooning wage bill. For his MA in Economics dissertation at the University of Botswana, Otsile Madi chose to analyse the economic implications of the 2019 salary increase for government employees in Botswana. The absence of a pipeline that conveys university research to members of the public means that an entire body of research output (which is meant to solve real-life problems) gathers both physical and digital dust. Fortunately, Sunday Standard chanced upon Madi’s work at a time that public sector unions and the government are in the throes of negotiating another salary hike. Madi raises some interesting points with regard to this issue.

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