Mmegi Online :: Trust among partners, PPPs key – Jefferis
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Last Updated
Friday 22 June 2018, 06:00 am.
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Trust among partners, PPPs key – Jefferis

FRANCISTOWN: Managing director of Econsult, Keith Jefferis this week described trust as an essential ingredient to successful economic partnerships, including the Private Public Partnerships (PPPs).
By Ryder Gabathuse Wed 14 Sep 2016, 15:46 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Trust among partners, PPPs key – Jefferis








Presenting on the topic of promoting trust between the public and private sectors at the 14th National Business Conference (NBC), Jefferis emphasised that a trusting partnership is essential for successful economic growth.

“Trust is based on shared objectives, responsiveness, mutual understanding and respect, openness and transparency amongst others,” he told the conference.

Jefferis, a Gaborone-based independent economist, observed that the private sector’s expectations of the government include the provision of public goods, provision of a safe and secure physical environment, a business-friendly regulatory environment, stable macroeconomic framework, fair taxation and efficient management of public spending amongst others.

On the other hand, the government expects the private sector to invest, grow and create jobs, respond to incentives, act honestly and in good faith, put Botswana first and encourage local economic development to mention a few.

Recounting the private sector concerns, he listed the declined public sector efficiency and poor accountability, the slow pace of business environment/regulatory reform, poor quality of utilities, obstacles to foreign direct investment (FDI) and creation of obstacles to private sector.

Other private sector concerns include lack of responsiveness to private sector concerns by government, dismissive attitude, increasingly unfavourable business environment, especially for foreign investors and workers, policy implementation or lack thereof and gap between rhetoric and reality.

The economist also observed that the government is concerned that the private sector does not create enough jobs, companies are cry babies, not patriotic enough, too focused on short-term profits and not enough on long term development and too dependent on government.

Jefferis challenged the government to take the private sector seriously and not to treat them as cry babies and accept that in some areas government had failed and needs to up its game. “Government should welcome constructive criticism

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and not treat it as an attack or as unpatriotic,” he said, also challenging the government to act with a sense of urgency on doing business reforms, policy implementation and others.

Of greater concern, Jefferis encouraged the government to sort out work permit problems once and for all to create a welcoming environment and understand what will make the country attractive to FDI and act on it.

He encouraged the private sector to make use of all the available forums to make sure that government is aware of problems bedevilling it rather than keeping quiet. “The private sector should make constructive, well argued policy proposals an end blatantly exploitative behaviour,” he said.

As a discussant on the trust topic, president of Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Andrew Motsamai admitted that there is a trust deficit that exists amongst key important role players expected to drive the country’s economy.

“The private sector is frustrated that there seemingly is a genuine concern from this sector, that the public sector is becoming increasingly a stumbling block to doing business,” said the trade unionist. In his view, Motsamai observed that government continues to want to have exclusive responsibility for the production of goods and rendering of services that have historically been considered public despite the obvious benefits of allowing private sector participation to grow and develop the economy.

“As part of my modest contribution to this national dialogue, on the occasion of our country’s celebration of the golden jubilee, I choose to deliberately advocate for just one solution - a transparent regulatory framework across all sectors that could bridge the existing mistrust,” he pleaded, noting that good governance is the cornerstone of building trust between the public and private sectors.

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Wed 14 Sep 2016, 18:00 pm
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