FRANCISTOWN: A Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) consultant has highlighted that countries must foster investment in human and physical capital through fiscal policy and structural reforms to revive productivity growth and generate prosperity.
Addressing different stakeholders on Botswana’s competitiveness status during a productivity and competitiveness seminar recently, BNPC consultant, Letsogile Batsetswe said that currently the global economy remains locked in a cycle of low or flat productivity growth.
“Batswana need to work hard collectively not as individuals through a holistic approach required to improve productivity and competitiveness,” he said.
According to Batsetswe, the report provides a neutral platform for multi-stakeholder approach and helps the policy markers to set interventions, monitor progress and identify good practices. “Despite large monetary injections over the last
decade over $10 trillion, productivity is still stagnant and the global economy is bracing for a slowdown, monetary policy is out of steam,” he said. According to Global Competitiveness Report,
Botswana now ranks 91st out of 141 economies as compared to 90th out of 140 countries in the previous report. During the presentation, Batsetswe said that Botswana is ranked 91st with a score of 51.5, which is below the average of 60 attributing the poor performance to lack of collaborations amongst businesses within clusters in the country.
“Botswana’s key strengths include macro economic stability score, which the country alongside 33 others is ranked first with 100%,” he said. He added that the country is also ranked 57th, 72nd for labour market and financial system respectively with a score of 60 points each.
“Institutions have a better ranking compared to Financial Systems ranked 70th, but with a lower score of 54. Botswana is failing in innovation with a score of 31 and ranked 99th out of 100 and ICT adoption, which is scored at 42 and ranked 98th,” he said.
When speaking about competitiveness gaps within regions, he said Asia-Pacific is the most competitive in the world followed closely by Europe and North America.
He further said that Singapore with a score of 84.8, is the most competitive economy in 2019 overtaking United States of America (USA), which took second position.
According to Batsetswe, Sub-Saharan Africa is the least competitive region with 25 of the 34 economies assessed this year scoring below 50.
He said that Botswana is ranked number four in Sub-Saharan Africa led by Mauritius, which is ranked 56th globally with a score of 64.3.
He also said that South Africa which is the second most competitive in the region, improved to 60th position while Zambia (94th), Rwanda (100th), Uganda (115th) and Guinea (122nd) all improved significantly.