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Why Botswana Lags Behind In Competitiveness

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Joconia Malunga giving an update on doing business reforms PIC: LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
FRANCISTOWN: The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) says Botswana has slipped by five positions in the 2019 doing business report as a result of failure to urgently deal with concerns cited in previous reports.

Botswana is ranked 86 out of 190 countries in the report.

MITI’s senior industrial officer, Joconia Malunga said recently that other some countries have implemented and completed a number of reforms.

These cover a wider range of indicators of the doing business report, something that explains why they have improved significantly more than Botswana in the 2019 rankings.

Malunga added that one of the challenges the country faces in implementing the reforms is lack of understanding of the reforms roadmap.

This is also coupled by lack of representation at the National Doing Business Committee meetings, which the private sector argue does not reflect commitment from the government (to help the country improve on the rankings).

Malunga said it was important for the government to come up with a more robust implementatio plan, where the responsible department can be held accountable.“There is an urgent need to look at the most critical

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indicators such as starting a business, getting electricity and enforcing contract which continue to perform dismally,” he said.

“We should leverage on ICT applications by prioritising re-engineering/streamlining of our process as captured under the different indicators to eliminate unnecessary steps which do not add value.”

Botswana came fifth in sub-Saharan Africa behind South Africa (fourth), Kenya (third), Rwanda (second) and Mauritius being the first in the 2019 doing business report.

When unpacking the 2019 report, Malunga indicated that Botswana ranks at 157 out of 190 in starting a business, 133 in getting electricity, 134 when it comes to enforcing contracts, 51 for paying taxes and 55 in trading across borders.

He was amongst key speakers at a recent seminar organised by the Botswana National Productivity Centre.

It was meant to give an update on the country’s competitiveness status in terms of doing business and ways to improve productivity.

 



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