Kenya Climate Innovation Center Consulting Limited (KCL) is this November leading the Investment Climate Reform (ICR) Facility in coordination with the British Council (BC) in supporting Business Botswana (BB) to push for public-private dialogues (PPDs) in Botswana. A PPD is a dialogue between the private and the public sectors that not only focuses on improving government policies but majorly providing a platform that allows business experts to work hand in hand with the government towards boosting economic development. The interactions could involve formal discussion forums, entrepreneurs advising the government on investment and social networks that encompass the business market. This leads to credibility as it builds trust between the private sector and the state.
According to the 2021 index of economic freedom, Botswana scored 67.6 making its economy the 51st freest in the index, Botswana with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $43.9 Billion and an unemployment rate of 2.8% is ranked 3rd among 47 countries in the sub-Saharan African region from the report. The index further indicates that this year (2021) Botswana faced more spillage in economic freedom and to get back to the ranks of the most free, most institutions will have to be strengthened by the government to improve the index rule of law indicators that include the government’s integrity, judicial effectiveness and property rights. Botswana Economy: Population, GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade, FDI, Corruption
The COVID-19 Pandemic also induced financial strains that resulted in economic crises in many African countries including Botswana and no single mode of funding will be enough to service the COVID-19 financial gap. This is why countries have to look into other ways that will foster economic recovery. There is a need for stakeholders in charge of domestic investment to closely partner with the government in promoting a more sustainable economy with the aid of a PPD. In cognizant to this, Business Botswana (BB) which is a private sector organization, functioning as a business representative and a chamber of commerce is pushing for PPDs in the country with support from the ICR Facility being led by KCL. BB is an organization that drives for sustainable and inclusive economic development in order to enhance and build the vitality and competitiveness of the private sector,
Importance of the PPDs
The ICR Facility led by KCL is providing support to Business Botswana to help identify the immediate economic activities that are implementable for the benefit of the Business Council constituents and their business survivals. A majority of organizations in Botswana will be able to effectively implement government policies by actively partaking in the process. As a result, some traits such as tax evasion, bribing state officials and breaking the law will be minimized leading to economic, social and political stability. This will accelerate success in Botswana considering most developing countries are able to shift their attention into utilizing fully the scarce resources available. Policies whereby the state and private sector funding are bound to be complementary, further facilitate development of transport and infrastructure and management of water services for the country.
The series of PPDs being undertaken by Business Botswana with support from the ICR Facility also aims to strengthen engagement between local authorities and businesses. Stakeholders and business experts have well known reasons to pressure the government on matters concerning legislation and regulatory frameworks. The PPDs will be the means to address such issues and will lead to immense increase in business activities in Botswana. The country’s business environment will also be transparent and easy to predict.
The hindrance of economic performance and creation of public policies are factors that help keep the government on its toes. As most of the developing countries are excluded from world trade and integration processes, disemboguing in the form of these dialogues provides major incentives for Botswana. It is therefore critical for the government to seek an understanding between stakeholders- (youth enterprises, grassroots enterprises, informal business sector, women led in business, donors and civil society groups). This intervention will therefore develop an agenda for engagement going forward.