Matsheka unveils priorities for remainder of NDP 11
03 Feb 2020
Government has indentified economic transformation, macroeconomic stability, greater socio-economic inclusion, improved quality of service, changing world of diamonds and climate change as critical issues for the second half of NDP 11.
Delivering his maiden budget speech yesterday, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Thapelo Matsheka said to align the critical issues with national priorities, four policy priorities had also been identied for the remainder of the plan period.
They included promotion of export-led growth, efficient government spending and financing, building human capital and provision of infrastructure, he said.
On promotion of export-led growth, Dr Matsheka said the objective was to ensure that the country’s drivers of economic growth shifted towards promoting export.
He said the shift would address the balance of payments problem which had emerged in recent years as a constraint to economic growth.
He therefore indicated that greater efforts were required in implementing the country’s export strategy, saying increased exports of goods and services did not only contribute to growth, improved balance of trade position but it was also necessary for restocking the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
Furthermore, he said there was need to ensure more efficient government spending and financing.
He said the economy had experienced a less favourable financial position in the past four years.
Dr Matsheka said the situation called for government to ensure that spending was as efficient as possible in order to return to a sustainable fiscal pathway.
In addition, Minister Matsheka said government was also committed to improving human capital skills and knowledge as they were critical inputs to private sector development and industrialization.
To avail financial resources towards the building of human capital, he said more measures would be used to reform the entire education system as part of transformation agenda.
Dr Matsheka also noted that government would starting from this financial year, prioritise provision of infrastructure that had the highest potential to increase productivity in key economic sectors to drive transformation.
The transformation agenda, he said, was a call to all stakeholders to live the ideals of Vision 2036.
Since the vision focussed on Botswana achieving high income status by 2036 which necessitated a review of operational plans and strategies for national economic and social development, the minister said.
Minister Matsheka further said successful economic diversification required an economic growth rate that was able to generate sufficient jobs to address unemployment, raise household incomes and reduce poverty.
He noted that unemployment rate remained a concern at 17.6 per cent of the labour force annually since 2015/16.
Accelerated growth consistent with Vision 2036 required policies that promote export diversification in goods and services to impact unemployment especially among the youth, said Dr Matsheka. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : BOPA
Location : Gaborone
Event : Budget Speech
Date : 03 Feb 2020