Sunday, December 3, 2023

President Masisi should appoint a Business and Economic council to advise him

There is need for president Mokgweetsi Masisi to seriously consider appointing a strong team of international entrepreneurs, economists and industrialists to advise him on how to take Botswana to new heights.

The Council of economic advisors would advise the president on all matters of the economy, development and related matters.

This is not to cast any aspersions on the current advisors economic to the president, if there are any.

Rather it  is to recognize that there is a dearth of innovative thinking in government.

At the moment president behaves like a person who goes around and gets advice from anybody he meets in the street.

That means there is little coordination nor planning.

This has the impact of confusing everyone around the president, including even his cabinet.

Botswana needs new ideas and new ideals if it is to graduate to a high income country to which we aspire.

There is no shortage of people across the globe who would be too happy to help an African country Botswana at no fee.

The only requirement, which might be hard for some in government to swallow is that such advisors will demand results.

They would require to have a secretariat of efficient policy experts that would be effective in serving  them mainly through coordination.

The truth is that we do not only look stagnant, we also seem to have run out of ideas.

At cabinet level there is a lack of dynamism beyond political survival.

The country’s business, economic and industrialisation strategies are haphazard and lacking in coherence.

Political will, where it exists is often undercut by a lack of technical depth, including on key policies and statutes, like that of Inclusion.

The country can no longer rely on traditional lines of advice because the country is growing in its complexity with problems getting intractable  and much more complex.

We need to learn from people from outside the country.

The president needs to draw from an array of sources when it comes to economic advice and expertise.

Among other things the Council would have to review the existing policies and institutions that were created to advance the country’s economic objectives.

In doing so they Council would put these institutions on a more modern pedestal that is in par with what situation obtains in other places.

The Council should be people drawn from such a pool that could include CEOs of global firms like Coca Cola, Anglo American etc.

These are companies that often have turnovers much bigger than Botswana’s GDP.

One area that is really killing this country yet nobody in government wants to face has to be youth unemployment.

Youth Unemployment has reach unsustainable levels.

Government seems to think they can rely on security services to crush dissent from the unemployed youth.

That is a fallacy.

We need a national dialogue on the matter.

We cannot behave like every young person has to become a business person.


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