PARLIAMENT – The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) has been engaged to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy (CEEP) and its associated interventions, Parliament has been told.
Junior Minister at Trade and Investment Ministry Biggie Butale said late last week that the BIDPA review is anticipated to provide a holistic view of the implementation of the policy including monitoring and framework.
PPADB first announced the plans to appoint consultants whose role would be to evaluate the CEE policy in February 2017. At the time, the board said it wished to establish whether the implementation of the Policy, as it relates to its mandate had indeed achieving the desired results.
The Board Executive Chairperson, Bridget John, told reporters in the capital Gaborone at the time that, “the board is in the process of commissioning a consultancy to evaluate the effectiveness of the CEE Policy, particularly as it relates to the procurement aspect.”
In January 2007, government undertook a review of citizen economic empowerment programmes in the country, with the view to formulate a comprehensive citizen economic empowerment policy and strategy for Botswana.
This followed another review of the ownership of companies doing business with government between 2004 and 2006 which indicated that while majority of tenders awarded go to citizen owned companies, the value of tenders awarded to Batswana owned businesses is much less compared to that of non-citizen owned companies doing business with government.
To date, the government has been urged to come up with a definite law on citizen economic empowerment because the current status quo puts the population at a disadvantage while unscrupulous foreigners capitalise on the prevailing environment. Passing the test of standards and requirements, foreign owned companies are free to set up business in the country, thereby suffocating struggling locally owned businesses with their excessive funds and abundant resources.
Francistown West Member of Parliament, Ignatius Moswaane in his response to the 2015/16 budget speech called for an ending to the irregularity occasioned by lack of citizen empowerment laws.
He further challenged the government to enact a law demanding 40 percent share interests on companies owned by foreigners as a way of avoiding depletion of the country’s natural resources by fly-by-night briefcase entrepreneurs.
“About 99 percent of Botswana’s population is employed by foreign owned companies. To avoid this deplorable situation we should come with definite economic empowerment laws,” Moswaane said at the time.
The PPADB consultancy is expected to be completed during the 2017/18 financial year with recommendations to make empowerment through procurement more effective.