Saturday, May 25, 2024

Serame creating jobs for workforce
regarded as unqualified by investors

In her 2023/24 budget speech, the Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame, had some good news for job seekers.

“Going forward, growth is projected at 4.0 percent and 5.1 percent in 2023 and 2024, respectively. This growth is expected to be broad-based across most non-mining sectors and the diamond industry. The non-mining sector is estimated to grow, on average by 5.0 percent over the two years, and is expected to generate about 35 000 new jobs across both the formal and informal sectors during this period.”

Whether the government reaches the growth and hiring targets or not, some people will certainly enter the national labour force in the stated sector. However, the people creating those jobs are dissatisfied with the labour productivity of Batswana workers. The most recent indication of that is reflected in a report (The Botswana Investment Climate Survey 2022) that was compiled by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre. The survey was undertaken among BITC-affiliated and accredited companies and covered “investment and doing business in Botswana”, “cost of doing business in Botswana”, “efficiency of Government programmes” and “institutions.”

BITC says that while “doing business environment in Botswana” remains favourable, it is still beset by some challenges. The latter are identified as “corruption perception especially in government procurement”, “cost of fuel and utilities” as well as “inefficient government bureaucracy.” There are two more challenges that not on that list but are mentioned in the report: “shortage of qualified labour force” and “poor work ethic.”

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