Poor project management has been cited as a factor that is holding back Botswana’s economic growth according to a 2nd quarter review by Econsult.
An economic review compiled by economists Keith Jefferis and Thabelo Nemaorani has revealed that it difficult to draw a clear overall picture of where the economy is heading considering that the 2nd quarter of 2013 saw a range of conflicting economic data and developments.
The 2nd quarter of 2013 was faced with serious power and water shortage which are currently ongoing. The challenges have been said to be indicative of a deeper problem of poor planning and project management in the public sector.
“While Morupule B may be the most extreme example, there are a number of other major projects that have been started late, completed late or not at all, been badly designed, have gone over budget, or not delivered the benefits or services that had been anticipated,” stated the report.
The economists have said it is essential that proper attention be devoted to proper planning, selection, design and management of public sector investment projects or perhaps doing fewer projects, but doing them better.
According to the review there is need to develop improved capacity within government and parastatals to plan and manage projects. “The long and the short of it is that public money is being wasted, and the nation is being deprived of essential infrastructure, which is in turn holding back development,” said the review.
The review has warned that if this is not addressed it is certain that future growth will be hindered, and Botswana’s reputation for good governance and management will be in jeopardy.
Meanwhile during the 12 months to March 2013, the economy grew by 3.6 percent, down from the 4.2 percent growth experienced in 2012. This is attributable to both the 6.1 percent contraction of mining output and the slowing of growth in the non-mining private sector. The latter fell from 8.0 percent in 2012 to 6.3 percent during the year to March 2013.
In addition the review has noted that one of the biggest detractors from economic performance and confidence in Q2 was the continuation of widespread power outages. “This has been highly disruptive across the private sector, with inevitable Implications for costs and productivity,” stated the report. The power outages are being compounded by water shortages.