President Mokgweetsi Masisi has pinned hope on the reengineering of government entities to accommodate a ministry solely responsible for enterprise under his Reset Agenda blueprint to spur the national economy. “The new Ministry of Entrepreneurship should be the dynamite for unleashing the socio-economic transformation that we desire,” said Masisi addressing cabinet retreat this week under the banner: Reviewing and refocusing our Commitment to Transform Botswana. He said the ministry’s efforts will be buttressed by digitization which is now the epicenter of national development agenda, empowering young people through several initiatives, to ensure they contribute to meaningful economic development. In addition, government says it has plans to focus on high-value, high impact flagship policies, projects, products, programmes and initiatives and associated enabling laws, to transform the economy. “We believe that we have set ourselves the goals that are equal to our ambitions and should be bold in our resolve to transform this great country to an upper income status,” said Masisi highlighting that the ambitions are aligned to the country’s Vision 2036.
Masisi said his administration will set to achieve through a ‘Stop, Start and Improve’ iniatiave within the Reset Agenda, expected to move the GDP annual growth rate from the 4.3 percent to 5.7 percent over the remaining planning period. He said the country’s labour market has the requisite skills to drive the desired change, dismissing reports of incompetent and idle. “Indeed, we are not lazy,” said Masisi, adding that it is not impossible to qualitatively improve productivity and innovativeness through collaborative partnership and entrepreneurship. The President further highlighted that political leaders should drive the country’s Reset Agenda and the transformation of the country. Last week, Masisi also said he intends to continue ‘vigorous interactions’ with potential investors at the World Economic Forum (WEF), following his latest participation at the event.
The President said attending the forum signals his administration’s determination to transform the economy. “WEF provides an opportunity to engage with some of the best investors,” Masisi said, adding that government wants to broaden its bilateral and multilateral relations. Masisi has also extended the invitation to the private sector to tag along on the next invitation to WEF activities, as the forum resonates with Botswana’s ideals to develop the country from a resource-based economy to a technology-driven economy. “I want you to come along and be part of it,” the president said, as he extended the invitation to the private sector. Since 2018, Masisi has attended three WEF conferences and remains optimistic that investors have been attracted from the forum. With several gains pinned on Botswana’s economic and social achievements such as the longest stability, good governance, predictability plus an agile youth, Masisi says the country should actively participate in the 4th industrial revolution (4IR).
“The 4IR presents the most unique opportunity not to catch up as a country on industrial revolution but to springboard,” Masisi said, citing that the country’s youth are ready for 4IR. “Young people present a marvellous opportunity to be harnessed,” said Masisi, emphasising that youth participation is key in 4IR. He said the country is rapidly advancing its 4IR activities, inviting the private sector to proactively participate in the revolution. He added that the private sector brings in unique talent and skills, therefore needs to participate. Masisi said WEF is extremely beneficial to Botswana, as it creates job opportunities for the country and potential to grow and expand the local economy. The President highlighted that the forum is also a platform to discuss global issues that affect economies which include pandemics and the global warming effects.