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Government plans value for money

03 Feb 2020

Government intends to undertake a value for money expenditure audit on the education and health sectors during the next financial year.

In his presentation of the 2020/21 budget roposals in Parliament yesterday,  Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Thapelo Matsheka said government had continued to invest in economic and social infrastructure such as in the two sectors.

“However, the outcomes of the sectors remained below expectations,” he said adding that the transformation programme required a fresh look at the returns to the level of investment.

Government, he said, had also invested significantly in human capital development.

 Dr Matsheka cited the current financial year where the education and health sectors were allocated over P20 million.

He said availability of human capital skills was a critical factor for the envisaged economic transformation from resource-based to knowledge-based.

Minister Matsheka said while the resouce-based model had hitherto served Botswana well, it was clear it could not be relied upon to deliver the country to high income status hence government would be rolling out the implementation of the Human Resource Development Plan during the 2020/21 financial year

“The implementation of the plan is expected to ensure demand driven human resource development to enhance the employability of graduates of tertiary education institutions through an emphasis on industry collaboration,” he said.

 He said government was also developing an internship and apprenticeship framework and policy as well as a labour market information system in an effort to address among others, challenges occasioned by skills mismatch and unemployment through monitoring labour market patterns and trends as well as guiding skills development and providing policy advice on employment issues.

He said the system, which would be completed next financial year, would provide access to information on labour, education and training from both  local and international sources.

Noting that youth unemployment was one of the major challenges facing Botswana,  Dr Matsheka said in response to continued high and persistent unemployment, government, with the assistance of the World Bank, had developed a draft National Employment Policy.

 The policy, he said, was still being processed within government as it proposed strategies to address labour  supply and demand specifically to address youth unemployment.

Further, Dr Matsheka  emphasised the need to develop a vibrant agricultural sector saying agriculture was one of the sectors identified for economic transformation due to its potential for growth, trade and job creation.

 He said for the agricultural sector to play its role, there was need to address challenges besetting the sector such as poor infrastructure, low productivity, low technology uptake and drought.

Dr Matsheka said addressing the challenges required a change of approach towards the sector’s development such as making a distinction between subsistence and commercial agriculture and creating tailor made policies and strategies to meet the different needs.

“The basis of adopting a revised approach to agriculture development is that existing agricultural programmes and schemes have to be revisited with the view to aligning them to the refocused role of agriculture sector under the transformation agenda,” he said.

He said government was reviewing agricultural schemes such as ISPAAD, LIMID and others to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Dr Matsheka said government was providing funding for constructing silos in Pandamatenga in 2020/21 as part of common facilities to be utilised by commercial farmers operating within  the Agricultural Special Economic Zone. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : Gaborone

Event : Budget Speech

Date : 03 Feb 2020