The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) announced plans to appoint consultants whose role would be to evaluate the country’s Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) Policy.
The board says it wishes to establish whether the implementation of the Policy, as it relates to its mandate is indeed achieving the desired results. PPADB Executive Chairperson, Bridget John told reporters in the capital Gaborone on Friday 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.
The review of the ownership of companies doing business with Government between 2004 and 2006 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.
Available records further show that although various initiatives contributed towards business development in the country, generally citizen participation in major economic activities and opportunities is not significant, which economic experts say is not a good indicator for sustainable economic development.
“A government that is serious at empowering its people does not simply educate them; it educates them predominately in fields critical to contemporary economic needs. Its educational system ought to be competence-based. In other words, it should be tailored as to drill learners with skills that can enable them to make a living on their own even if they are not formally employed”, former cabinet minister David Magang noted in his macroeconomic book ÔÇô Delusions of Grandeur Vol 1 published in 2015.
Apart from Magang’s comment, there have been persistent calls for greater emphasis on citizen economic empowerment as a more intrinsic part of Botswana’s development policy and strategy. In 2012, the Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo told Parliament that the Government had decided that a more strategic and holistic approach to citizen economic empowerment was needed, hence the development of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy (CEE Policy).
Meanwhile the PPADB consultancy is expected to be completed during the 2017/18 financial year with recommendations to make empowerment through procurement more effective.