By Olufemi Terry
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of $179.66 million to support government reforms to restore post-pandemic fiscal stability and economic recovery.
The funds for phase II of the program will build on the successes of the first phase by supporting policy measures designed to boost economic recovery, further ease private sector participation in the economy and promote climate-smart agriculture and industrial development. These include various revenue enhancing measures, establishment of a public procurement regulatory authority and facilitation of public private partnerships.
The program will also propel private sector-led agriculture and industrial transformation. It will achieve this through the approval of a national policy on agricultural development and transformation, creation of a meat industry regulator and improvement of the investment facilitation regime.
To enhance resilience and social inclusion, the program will strengthen the policy framework for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), promote the adoption of a technical and vocational training policy and roll out of a single social registry.
Botswana’s economy remains largely undiversified in terms of exports. In the last decades, the country has followed a natural resource-based model that depends significantly on diamond mining. The country has a large public sector. Still, Botswana enjoys satisfactory macroeconomic stability despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The program will directly benefit several government ministries, departments and agencies. Prominent among these are the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Minerals and Energy, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the revenue service and the agencies tasked with overseeing private sector development. Businesses, including MSMEs, will benefit, particularly those in agriculture and manufacturing. The program is also expected to have a positive impact at the national level, particularly for women and youth.
The program aligns with the Bank Group’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) and its High Five strategic priorities, particularly Industrialize Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.