Gov’t launches Middle Income Strategy

Rooting for the middle class: Kgafela PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Rooting for the middle class: Kgafela PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

To create 100 young Batswana millionaires in 10 years, government launched the Middle Income Strategy on Tuesday that aims to grow the middle class.

The objective of the strategy is to facilitate for the middle class to effectively participate in the country’s economic development through the creation of globally competitive sustainable businesses while providing growth opportunities. Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Mmusi Kgafela said the strategy seeks to assist Botswana to achieve its national goals of economic diversification, job creation and poverty eradication. He noted that the middle class across the world drives economies through purchasing power and high levels of expenditure. “The vision is to make the middle class a significant driver of Botswana’s economic development by the year 2036, in line with the goal set in the National Entrepreneurship Policy approved by Parliament in 2019,” he said.

He added that growing the middle class means coming up with appropriate policies and strategies that will cause the middle class to grow both qualitatively and numerically while equally causing commendable growth in other income categories. According to Kgafela, the strategy is for public, private and other sectors, therefore must have a collective policy approach of the development of necessary conditions for employee transition from the world of work to the world of business.

The strategy was developed in 2017 to respond to the public policy gap in promoting middle-class support in Botswana’s economic development, especially participation in entrepreneurship and job creation for youth as well as addressing income inequality. “MITI was asked to lead the development of the strategy. A countrywide consultative process including various stakeholders was undertaken. Through these consultations, it emerged that the strategy should be more inclusive and acceptable to all income groups,” he said.

Therefore, the strategy motivates the middle class employed in government, state-owned enterprises, private sector and non-state actors to start businesses that will help maintain their standard of living and contribute to the country’s economic development long after exiting formal employment.

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