Friday, July 19, 2024

Transition hampers Botswana’s competitiveness

Botswana may have made gains in global competitiveness rankings, but the country is still struggling in key pillars because it is in a transition stage of development. 


The Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2015-2016 ranks Botswana 71st out of 140 countries, which is an improvement of three places as compared to last report, according Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC).


Notwithstanding these accomplishments, the country still struggles on other pillars such as business sophistication (111th), market size (105th), innovation (102nd) higher education and training (100th) and goods market efficiency (95th). This is mainly triggered by the fact that Botswana is in the transition stage of development from being a factor driven economy to an efficiency driven one. As a result, Botswana performs better on the factor driven pillars relative to efficiency and innovation driven pillars of competitiveness.”


Equally, the business community in Botswana still regards poor work ethic in the national labour force as the most problematic factor for doing business in the country. 


“The severity of this problem has increased by 0.5% in relation to the previous report. Inefficient government bureaucracy has moved to second as the most problematic factor followed by restrictive labour regulations. Policy and government instability still remain the least problematic factors for doing business in the country.”


Botswana continues to be outperformed by its peers in the Sub-Saharan Africa where growth continues at close to five percent, but competitiveness and productivity remain low. This is something countries in the region will have to work on, especially as they face volatile commodity prices, closer scrutiny from international investors and population growth. Mauritius remains the region’s most competitive economy (46th), closely followed by South Africa (49th) and Rwanda (58th). C├┤te d’Ivoire (91st) and Ethiopia (109th) excel as this year’s largest improvers in the region overall. South Africa, which is Botswana’s largest regional trading partner rose seven places in annual WEF Global Competitiveness Index.


“The results of the 2015/16 Global Competitiveness Index shows that South Africa has made significant improvements towards ensuring we are a globally competitive destination.  The report resonates with our own assessment that we must work towards strengthening, amongst others, the education and health sectors to ensure our sustained competitiveness.  The National Development Plan outlines the steps we need to take to achieve this,” said Brand South Africa’s CEO Kingsley Makhubela.


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