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New And Strong Institutions Are The Seeds To A Harvest In The New Botswana

A RESPONSE TO THE 2019/20 BOTSWANA ANNUAL BUDGET
By Ndaba Gaolathe Tue 12 Feb 2019, 12:24 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: New And Strong Institutions Are The Seeds To A Harvest In The New Botswana








  1. Thank you Mr Speaker, that by your delicate hand I rise to perform a great and privileged duty, to respond on behalf of so many citizens of this magnificent land, to the 2019/20 Budget Speech by Hon Minister Ken Matambo.  How I wish Madam Speaker Kokorwe was here this afternoon to quench her keen and genuine interest in the economic challenges of our time, but it is the final stages of her recovery that have kept her away, we pray for her speedy and full recovery. 
  1. Mr Speaker, the ultimate aim of all our plans regardless of the political party in power is to create well paying jobs and opportunities for all of our people.  We are in a current economic state of do or die, the likes of which we have never witnessed; and so many of our people – the unemployed, retired persons, taxi-men, security guards, artists, performers, artisans domestic workers, nurses, teachers, soldiers, policemen, clerks, small-business owners, graduates, professionals, civil servants, herdsmen and workers in general are in a state of despair and anxiety about their future and that of their children.  
  1. Mr Speaker, these people, our people, wish to know if there is a way out of this morass, this economic state of do or die, they wish to know if there is some possibility, no matter how remote, to transform this economy so it can put all our people at work, and give them opportunities to feed their families and become the best they can be.  They wish to know if this is possible and how it can be done.  They gleaned and searched for this possibility in the recent Budget Speech, but the answer lies in much more than any Budget speech.  
  1. Mr Speaker, go out in the streets of our ghettos, and the yards of the hamlets, you will find a desperation, a loss of hope about what can become of this nation.  But I stand here today and say I have hope, I have a faith about what is possible for this nation if we all came together to choose the right path, because the choice is there, the choice between the old way of doing things or a new way, a choice between the old political institutions or the new political institutions, the choice between the old Botswana or the New Botswana.  The choice between refurbishment or renewal.  
  1. I choose a path of renewal, I choose a new way of doing things, I choose the building of new inclusive political institutions without which we cannot inspire the building of robust, creative and inclusive economic institutions that are so necessary in bringing about a new Botswana that gives all our people sustainable jobs and opportunity. 
  1.  This is of course is necessary to alleviate the daunting challenges of our time:  most of our people are not at work, more of our people than we can count live in poverty and in appalling life conditions; the disparities in the material living conditions, wealth and income, are extreme and alarming.  These conditions put together threaten our social cohesion if not our unity as a people.  If we do not fix them we will lose our character, our sense of collective purpose and our happiness as a people.
  1. And so they question we need to ask ourselves are: i) Does our budget catalyze our aspirations including our ambitions for job creation, diversification of our economy, neutralization of inequalities; ii) Is our governance system or political institutions tailored to extract the best value from and ensure the highest impact of our national budget; iii) Do we harbor the right priorities in our budget allocation of resources as a nation given our vision; iv) Do we have the systems in place to guarantee efficiency, effectiveness and value for money in our public finances.  There are many more questions to ask but these are the pertinent one for our time 

Is our governance system or political institutions tailored to extract the best our of any national budget?  The answer is of course no 

  1. We cannot pretend that our political institutions are fertile, inclusive or fortified enough to bring out the best in our resource allocation process.  In fact, our three arms of Government are so ill-balanced and, out of both the constitutional script and tradition, accord the Executive Branch of government disproportionate powers.  This creates a constitutionally legitimate dictatorship of the Executive and a disempowered Legislature without neither the capacity nor the tools to provide meaningful oversight over the Executive.  The Judiciary is only as independent as the attitude of the Executive of the moment. 
  1. Such an institutional arrangement of our Government  breeds an attitude within Government and among those who wield power within the Executive to abuse it, because there are no serious institutional deterrents or checks and balances.  It is no wonder that Botswana’s national coffers continue to hemorrhage, and no one is able to give an estimated figure of these leakages.  In the midst of such serious corruption allegations, this year’s budget should have indicated the Executive’s estimates of monies leaked over the last five or ten years as a result of corruption. 

10.  I suspect that such estimates are not forthcoming exactly because of the deficiencies of our political institutional arrangements, which make it easy to circumvent such fundamental lapses.  If our system had taken seriously the idea of the office of the Auditor General, its placement in the system, and its capacitation, the Office would have been able, through periodic value for money and other specialized audits, been able to identify and estimate monies we have lost due to corruption, inefficiencies, negligence, bad workmanship as a result of corrupt awarding of tenders.  

11.  Our own estimate of the monies lost due to corruption, applied in the broadest terms to include the impact of favouritism-based awards on delays, cost overruns and poor workmanship is more than 30% of our development budget spending.  This is about P3 billion per year in recent years.  Even if we are wrong, it is not by a large margin.  This represents significant lost opportunities for the economic transformation of our nation.  These are circumstances that need more than prosecutions to resolve, we need to change the way we govern ourselves as a nation.

Does our budget catalyse the type of economy we aspire for?

12.  And so a nagging question of our times is, how do we create these jobs, and I dare say these well paying sustainable jobs and what is the role of the national budget in so doing.  Many believe it the job of Government, and in particular the job of the Ministry of Finance to create well paying sustainable jobs.  We need to think about this carefully, as a nation because history has repeatedly taught nations that if they look for answers where they don’t exist, they put in place a recipe for disaster. 

13.  And so our understanding is that the budget or the budget process is one of many tools or instruments to shape an economy, or shape the structure of an economy which in turn shapes the opportunities available for our people, employment opportunities, entrepreneurial opportunities and other opportunities. 

14.  The picture of the structure of the economy you as Government of the day wish to paint and nourish by this year’s national budget is different from our own picture of a well structured economy, and so we will have differences on how we would wish to budget for that economy.  Allow me to talk about our picture of the economy and also about how we would adjust the budget to nourish or facilitate that economy we aspire for.  There will be areas that you will prioritize over what we will prioritize, and there will be areas that we will prioritize over the ones that you will prioritize. 

Our picture of the structure of the economy in the New Botswana 

15.  Our idea of a New Botswana economy is one that grows by at least 10% on average year on year for the next thirty to forty years.  This is ambitious, and means a doubling the size of our economy every 7.3 years.  We believe this to be possible, including driving non mineral exports to at least 40% of GDP and shrinking unemployment levels from 19% to less than 10% within 6 years.  We wish to augment manufacturing output to 20% of GDP, and make Botswana a transport hub for the 277 million strong SADC market. 

16.  We will in the New Botswana propose to de-monopolize our diamond sector and establish our country as one of the top 10 trading centers out of the more than 20 globally, and one of the top 3 in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).  We should marshal the talent and experience of our best and brightest to forge fairer agreements with our strategic partners cross the globe; Even more, it is no longer tenable, for instance, to justify an agreement with De-Beers that is so secretive that it is beyond the oversight reach of Parliament.  

17.  No one here, except a few in the echelons of the Executive have been given access to this Agreement that entails hundreds of billions of dollars of our nation’s resources.  This is confirmation that our political institutions are not inclusive, and this is how our system is efficient at pursuing the interests of the few, and so suspect and sluggish at launching a transformative agenda to open opportunities for ordinary citizens. 

  1.   We have lost opportunities to transfer, own and nurture diamond mining technologies that we can truly call our own or ones that our own citizens can make breakthroughs and run with.  Every year Debswana awards contracts worth billions of dollars, which contracts, after more than four decades under the current arrangements, have not nurtured our own indigenous multi-nationals, or our own entrepreneurs who could be tasked to develop an export sector in services (engineering, mining contracting, electrical, construction), an export sector capable of generating billions in export earnings and thousands of well paying jobs for our citizens. 

19.  Every year we talk about transformation and diversification and we fight about a few millions to YDF and few millions there and there, and yet we are silent about Botswana most important mineral resources.  The hard truth is we will never be able to transform the fortunes of our economy if we are not able to transform and make the best of what we already have in diamonds. Diversification does not mean turning a blind eye on diamonds, it means wielding our power and unleashing it to do the unimaginable using our competitive edge in diamonds.

20.  We propose to do the same in the meat sector, open up the sector to other players throughout the full cattle value chain in the cattle-growing regions.  No one should monopolize the rights to the export of beef, and these rights should be opened up to other players by a regulator in the same way the cellular companies are regulated by a communications regulator.  This should unleash the efficiency of the meat sector and consequently the incentives to produce by farmers across board.  This should ignite other meat subsectors and create a cluster of businesses along the meat value chains and thousands of better paying jobs than the current meat sector structure allows. 

21.   We see tremendous opportunities in the services (including financial) sector for our people and propose to facilitate the rapid development of this sector with a focus on export markets (business process outsourcing, call centers, data centers, aircraft maintenance).  

22.  We will do well in the New Botswana to expand the tourism hub in the Okavango-Chobe-Makgadikgadi triangle, to encompass other selected areas including the South East, even if it is less up-market.  We must develop the South East as a regional MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and exhibitions Center).  This is another sector where we propose to bring down the barriers to entry for indigenous entrepreneurs and community Trusts. 

23.   We need to bring down barriers to economic participation through a raft of measures including a well coordinated raft of collective interventions that entail access to funding, continuous training, technical management support, facilitation of strategic partnerships and a land reform process that opens up access to prime land to community trusts and ordinary citizens who may not possess ready access to capital.  If we get the Tourism sector right we are looking at new opportunities for many, tens of thousands of jobs and a systematic reversing of inequalities between the rural and the urban or between the haves and the have nots. 

24.  We are looking to switch New Botswana into an information technology haven, to align with and exploit one of the global mega-trends.  We will invest in major strategic alliances to significantly upgrade internet quality, speed and country-wide coverage – and make internet access almost costless for all our citizens.  

25.  We will form strategic alliances as part of our extended Research and Development Programme to develop softwares and systems that could be used within our Government system, some of which could be commercialized internationally.  We are keen to form other strategic alliances that could place us on the edge of other new emerging technologies. This is path equivalent to the building of highways and bridges of the past, and is a means to develop new markets and new economic engines.  

26.  Notwithstanding our bold information technology ambitions, we still need major investments in physical infrastructure as well, long term infrastructure projects, 40 to 100 year view, major infrastructure projects that will transform the face of our country and projects that will reinvent how we deliver public services to communities.  We will build fuel conveyance pipelines from the coasts, we will invest in major water tunnels, city/metropolitan transit systems, we will extend dual carriage-ways across, and through the country and through key nodal points of Botswana, We will erect high density housing projects in key areas around the country and agricultural infrastructure projects. 

27.  Our best chance for the next big break rest with our ability and willingness to take three or four big bets and forge strategic alliances, almost like we did the diamond mining venture in the 1960s, only this this time not necessarily in diamonds but, with the strongest technology companies on the planet.  We need to strike similar strategic alliances with experience agriculturalists who have succeeded in farming under arid conditions to ignite an agricultural revolution, to produce, sustainably, more than our local needs, for processing, manufacturing and export.    These strategic alliances in the form of flagship projects can catalyse sustained creation of decent paying jobs in a grand scale, as well as begin to lay the foundation for equitable prosperity for the long run. 

28.  In dealing with strategic partners, investors, financiers and the outside world, the new Botswana will draw upon our talent, the best and brightest among us, to match the skills and equip us as a nation to secure the best deals, arrangements for ourselves, in the same way that South Korea did when they found an arrangement in Toyota that yielded the launch-pad for a wholly Korean indigenous automotive sector with its own brands and technologies.  This is our best path towards some form of industrialization, without which we cannot generate the hundreds of thousands of jobs we need to create for the masses of our people. 

29.  We need to aggressively devise ways to make land available for good use to a broad spectrum of our population, citizens of all ages including the youth.  Botswana’s cities, towns and villages do not have places, communities and sub-communities where they can meet or cluster around on a continuing basis to develop or innovate their ideas or trades or professions.  We need to make land and working spaces available for amateur mechanics, artisans, film makers, artists, software programmers, farmers and other trades where these professionals can be found, markets opened up for them, funding made available to them and an environment created for them to find and seize opportunities. 

30.  We will ignite an education and skills revolution to meet the human resource demands of our bold plans to oil the economic locomotive, by investing in both teachers and learners as well as in the environment in which they operate; we will place science, management, technology, innovation and problem solving as key ingredients to the achievement of our skill development goals; We will invest significantly more in Research and Development as well as in technical and vocational training, with incentives to stimulate linkages between the academic world and the real world in the private and public sectors. 

31.  With these ambitions, we can place Botswana, in years to come as a global leader in solar energy technologies and management, a leader in water management, a leader in environmental conservation, a leader in specialized foods and medicines,  a leader in diamonds, a leader in a range of technological applications, and a leader in management.  This kind of global leadership makes us attractive not only to our own youthful talent but to talent at the global scale, and so we need to understand that to keep our place at the high table, we also need to open our doors to the best talent from outside our borders.  Such an economy will create more jobs than our country will be able to fill. 

32.  The New Botswana will not happen on its own, we need to start now to manifest our deep conviction to democratic principles including the idea of transparency in the manner we conduct ourselves.  Our daily actions should already reflect the new Botswana, our daily actions should begin to restore trust in leadership and institutions, so that by the time we reach the new Botswana, every policy, programme and project builds within it transparency, in process, tasks and process reporting.  This should be how Government in the New Botswana works. 

33.  In light of the prevailing cost of living conditions, and the of the impact of old age pensioners on the extended family, we recommend, as we did last year an increase to about P1500 per month 

34.  Although we have not been privy to the PEMANDU report, our own assessment has always been that the structure

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and levels of civil service pay has lost touch with the prevailing international competitive dictates and the need to align with realities.   Our view is also that the stagnation of pay over the last decade has had to do less with the occasional global economic recession that man-made relational stand-offs between the Government of the day and the unions 

Do we have the priorities right?  May be not 

Enabling sub-sectors, parastatals and role in the New Botswana 

  1.   The question we continue to ask ourselves, as a generation, is what is the role of the current portfolio of Parastatals in shaping this New Botswana, and whether these Parastatals are well configured to make this New Botswana possible.  We also continue to ask the question are these subsectors, some of them enabling sectors in which these Parastatals are players structured to catalyze these Botswana? 

36.  For Water Utilities and the water sub-sector, the answer is no.  For Botswana Power Corporation and power sector the answer is also no.  For the Botswana Meat Commission and the beef sector the answer is no.  For BTO the answer is a no.  For the Botswana Development Corporation, CEDA, LEA and BITRI for t he financing and innovation sector the answer is still a no.  For Botswana Oil the answer is a no. 

37.  One of the biggest constraints to our transformation agenda as a nation is the availability of water for human consumption, for the take-off of the agricultural revolution, for mining purposes and for the development purposes in general.  Worse, in the years to come water is likely to become as much a continental scarcity that it may provoke wars.  Despite the efforts and strides being made my the WUC, we cannot achieve the objective of adequacy of water supply for human and agricultural needs as affordable cost without a fundamental shift in the structure and configuration of the water sub-sector.  

38.  We the Progressives have proposed in the past and even now, the establishment of a water regulator, to manage the introduction of new players, new investment and pricing.  We also propose the break-up of WUC into more two more parts of the water value chain so we do not have one monopoly controlling the entire water value chain.  We need to de-monopolize the water sector so we also strengthen our national water distribution grid, and our water sourcing asset base across the country. More investment and quantums required. 

39.   Our arid conditions also demand a systematic approach to water conservation and investments in Research and Development to bring Botswana forward as a contender for a Global leader in water conservation and water management, which sector can further expand our services for export sector and employment opportunities for thousands of our people.  

40.  If we are able to make water available for all uses in the New Botswana, the benefits are a flourishing agricultural and agro-processing sector which the potential to create tens and thousands of decent jobs even in the rural areas.  This is a sector that we also identify as a foundation to an initial export-driven manufacturing sector, the foundation to a well-structured economy of the new Botswana.  We are under investing in the water sector, and we are punching below our weight by not assembling more stakeholders, resources, structure and capacity into the sector.  We will invest more in this sector, much more, in the New Botswana budget, and in smart strategic alliances. 

41.  We are happy that in this Parliament, we collectively motivated and agreed to the establishment for a power regulator.  The implementation of its objectives and production of guidelines for independent power producers is dismally slow.  Botswana Power Corporation is also far from achieving effectiveness and the power sub-sector remains highly centralized.  We believe that power generation should be separated from power distribution to upgrade the quality, access and economic impact of the energy sector in Botswana.  

42.  It is time for smart-grids, it is time for the dominance of solar energy/clean energy and it is time for independent community plants in small villages where access at good cost is not viable.  This is the picture of how we wish to galvanize and invest in the power sector, with the end effect of the creation of thousands of jobs for our people.  We are not done with the billions of Pulas lost at the Morupule.  We need as a country to account for the billions lost and recoup as much of it as possible. 

43.  Our ecosystem for breeding innovation, and entrepreneurship is fragmented and under-invested.  BITRI, CEDA, BDC, PPADB and LEA should all be part of a single entrepreneurship development ecosystem.  Entrepreneurial development is not just about business-start-ups its also about turning those we already have into world class enterprises.  It pains me when I look at Pop Inn stores or Thebe Stores, or Uncle Boyce stores – if we were an ambitious nation, they should have been ahead of the Woolworths and Pick and Pays.   

44.  The founders (of Pop Inn and such entities) had what it took to achieve that, but we do not have an ecosystem to take them to that international export level that ambitious nations such as South Korea did right from the time of Park Chung Hee.  So if we had a comprehensive eco-system, it becomes clear to the whole system which promising entrepreneurs or cooperatives or Trusts we should be investing in to create strong economic institutions.  We need to create our own indigenous stars by hand-holding cooperatives and enterprising consortia to break into previously monopolistic subsectors such as retail, banking and diamonds. 

45.  And so in building such an entrepreneurial or enterprise development ecosystem we need to also establish sector Funds, in conjuction with strategic partners.  We have proposed and continue to propose the establishment and funding of such sector Funds to pursue our sector development objectives, to facilitate the economic structure that we believe gives us the best prospects of providing sustainable well paying jobs and opportunities. 

46.  A Technology Sector Fund, A Tourism Sector Fund, a Creative Industry Sector Fund, Infrastructure Sector Fund, a Mining and Mining Beneficiation Sector Fund, Energy Sector Fund, A Manufacturing Sector Fund in addition to reforming funds targeted to agricultural ventures.   We could start with a collective Funding of P3 billion plus additional funding from strategic partnerships within and outside Botswana.  These are necessary to focus and unleash the sectors in which we hope to become major players, and potentially create hundreds of thousands of jobs for our people. 

47.  There is already a report on the BTO that Parliament needs to deliberate on if we are serious about upgrading our tourism sector. 

48.   We need to create safer communities in which communities can feel their involvement in the direction of the country and we need to restore the trust of ordinary citizens in Government institutions of which they are the overseers, ultimately. 

49.  We need to reform our procurement system so it takes into account our aspirations for excellence, inclusion and desire to create export focused economy. 

50.  Mr Speaker, our vision of the new Botswana has implications on how we would budget, and indeed we realize that the national Budget is only one part of many pieces we need to put in place.  And so we attribute our departure from the current system of Budget to our contrasting vision of Botswana.  This is not a crime; we need to learn as a nation that we can hold two different visions about our nation, but this does not mean the one must be punished for holding a different view – this is an important ideal of a progressive democratic system.  So implications of our vision may be summarized in the following way: 

51.   We propose amendments to the Development Budget, with the amount for Development Expenditure going up by P3 billion, our initial pledge to the establishment of the sector Funds. We do ultimately need to cut what we believe are not pressing needs, and cut also through managing cost overruns and containing corruption.  This we believe can give us a real saving of at least 30% of development budget per year, and this we would be able achieve through a restructured Government, albeit a slightly more expensive one to run from a recurrent expenditure perspective. 

Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration

52.   We will reduce spending mainly fighter jets and associated expenses, but invest more in living conditions of our soldiers 

Auditor General

53.   We will make Office more independent and give it more power to investigate wastage and corruption on a continuous basis.  We will invest more to have office conduct value for money and other specialized audits. 

Independent electoral Commission

54.  We will invest more resources to finance preparations for elections and political education 

Ministry of Transport and Communications

55.  We will increase expenditure to reflect our technology ambitions as well as infrastructure transformation objectives.  We will invest in the reform of our transport system to make our public transport system safe, reliable, efficient and inclusive.  We will invest more to build decent transport terminals.  We will also invest transit city/town transport systems including possibility of overhead trams.  We will implement the rail projects to the coasts and construction of major north south and east west dual carriage-ways 

Ministry of Tertiary, Research, Science  and Technology

56.  We will enhance high-speed broadband access to key sectors, and enhance the digital agenda for unbanked communities.  We will establish a Technology Sector Fund to facilitate strategic partnerships for development of Botswana as leading Tech Hub 

Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Basic Education

57.  We will construct and procure of equipment and facilities for sports/music/art/science development programmes for early stage.

Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development

58. We will pursue higher targets for accelerated land servicing programmes for residential housing.

59.  We will encourage citizens and young people to establish consortia, and facilitate access to land and financing based on standards to be met, for development of property including high density housing developments. 

60. We will invest significantly to provide households with keen agricultural aspirations, based on standards, access to land, finance and managerial support. 

61.  We will establish a mortgage guarantee scheme to significantly lower barriers for every citizen to own a home.

Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Green Technology

62. We will establish a Mining/Mining Beneficiation Sector Fund and an Energy Sector Fund, and encourage eco-friendly sustainable businesses and citizens/communities involved in tourism projects.

Youth Empowerment, Sports and Cultural Development

63. We will invest in coordination mechanism between this Ministry and all Government departments to push participation of young people in the mainstream economy including setting of standards and creating of common working areas (and all development ecosystems) for young people involved or wishing to be involved in engineering, construction,auto-mechanics, electrical design, creative industries and information technology.  We will encourage young people to find each other and create groups that can run enterprises with the right managerial and financial support.  We will invest in strategic partnerships for sports academies and national theater and recording studio. 

Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security 

64. We will expand efforts to make available irrigatable land in key arable areas for keen and deserving aspiring farmers based on transparent criteria.  We will further effort to put up infrastructure to promote new forms of farming including vertical farming to manage the effects of global warming. 

65.  We will reform our Agricultural schemes to focus on incentives for farmers who actually produce. 

66. We will invest in strategic partnerships with players that have succeeded in production under dry conditions. 

Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism 

  1.   We will invest in Research and Development partnership to make Botswana a leader in conservation. 

Investment Trade and Industry

68. We will establish the Sector Funds to facilitate smart partnerships for the development of industry. 

Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development

69. We needs to invest even in those who were not able to succeed in the academic mainstream.  We need to open up opportunities for the forgotten trades – tellers in shops, domestic workers, security guards, those who till the gardens, hawkers, those who transport us in the mornings and those who may be at home – significant resources to have them retooled, trained to pursue and excel in new trades that offer them better paying prospects as we begin to upgrade the economy 

Parliament

70.  We will fund a Parliamentary Budget/Economics Office and enhance the legislative drafting capacity of Parliament.  The Budget Office will become an integral part of the budgeting process and render the office an authority in non-partisan economic impact studies, and in the studying of cost implications of alternative budget

 

Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services

  1.   We will need a massive standards-based programme to give citizens without capital access to land so that they may have opportunity to start anew as described in the programmes across various sectors to open opportunities for all our citizens. 

All ministries attending to Education

72.  We will step up and put in place a systematic school maintenance mechanism for both primary and secondary schools (for equipment, student/teach facilities, housing, buildings).   We will improve remuneration and working condition of teachers. 

Ministry of Finance

73.   We will need the Ministry to invest more in revamping the management of the fragmented ministerial levies such as the alcohol levies, the National Petroleum Levies and many others.  We need to make their management more accountable to both the Ministry of Finance and Parliament.  We will also need to find ways of recouping all monies that may have dissipated illegally or in a corrupt fashion from them and from other parastatals and quasi public institutions such as Botswana Public Officers Fund.

Pensions

74.  We believe Botswana can afford to raise our Old age pension to at least P1500 per month 

Gender

75.  We need to resolve as a nation that women in particular, and their full and fair involvement in the political and economic institutions is a matter of national strategic need necessary to make our nation realize its full potential.  The current institutions are not built to cater for the peculiarities and needs of women, and this is why we need to reform our institutions to make them more inclusive. 

Minimum and Living wages

  1. 76.    On minimum and living wages, I quote from the Progressives policy address in January, that “The law of minimum wages that are decent, although necessary, can never give our people, as a well structured booming economy would, sustainable high paying jobs which is one of the ultimate ambitions of the new Botswana.  Of course we will set minimum wages, but standards will be structured based on informed analysis of what our economy can genuinely sustain without economic ruin.” 

Recurrent Budget

77.   We would increase recurrent Budget based on our proposal for a restructuring of how Government works, with salaries rising by 7% to 25% depending on levels and similarity to previous roles. Salary increases in the ensuing years would decline, and we will put in place a mechanism to set a transparent manner for adjusting salaries based on inflation, performance and exceptional skill. 

78. This is our vision of transforming our economy.  This is our vision of creating well paying jobs, sustainable jobs for all our people.  It needs all of us, it will never happen on its own.  It will never happen if we not committed to the restructuring of our political system, political institutions, because unless these are inclusive and strong, we cannot inspire strong and inclusive economic institutions.  These things, we believe we can achieve as a people, and something in me tells me we will, and yes we will. 

79.  We don’t need to hurl at each other BDP against the UDC or against the AP, We don’t need to hurl at each other AP against the BDP or against the UDC.  That’s not how a democracy works, demonizing each other and putting each other down.  All we need to do, is to make a choice.  We need to choose who exactly is the collective leadership that will give us this New Botswana. 

80.I have done my part, together with men and women who call themselves the Alliance for Progressives we have labored day and night to offer this country leaders and representatives who represent a value system – integrity, decency, honesty and the respect of the sanctity of the human life, men and women who have sacrificed their professions to give you an option that you can exercise or reject. 

81.  Your choice is to choose to encourage and vote for them, or you could encourage and vote for the others, this is a choice that you have and you must exercise without excuse.  If you do exercise this choice, all of you, in any way, then there is hope for this nation.  I have am so pregnant with hope that we are well on our way to the new Botswana.  I thank my colleagues for this hope, and I thank the many men and women, many of them forgotten that continue to throw a word of encouragement that we are on the right path as the Alliance for Progressives. 

82.  In the end it is not about the size of the economy, or amount of minerals or might of our military – these can never trump our character and our mindset.  Our fairness, our drive, our diligence, our belief in our potential, our willingness to take up responsibility, everyone claiming for themselves a responsibility beyond their own personal being, a graciousness to allow and encourage others to succeed without putting them down, our understanding that each one of us will have their fair chance at success one day, our willingness to put in a decent shift of honest work, taking our civic responsibility to vote, attending our fair share of community meetings, paying our taxes, doing some community work, continuing to learn, all of us,  constantly improving ourselves and our personal discipline – these are the things that will make us a great nation, and we have all it takes.

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