President of Alliance for Progressives (AP) Ndaba Gaolathe says majority of Batswana still live under the poverty datum line.
When addressing the public and members of his party on Wednesday evening about party policies at Gaborone main mall, he said almost 400, 000 people live in overcrowded home conditions. And majority Batswana are either unemployed or work in poor paying jobs.
But he said the AP has a solution for the Batswana through its policies.
“ Some of the key elements of our manifesto advances include, shrink unemployment from 20% to less than 10%, double the economy, attract at least P100 billion, drive non mineral exports to at least 40% Gross Domestic Product (GDP), augment manufacturing output to 20% of GDP, reduce the import bill from 71 billion to 23 billion and position agriculture as one of the top four contributors to GDP, ensure every motswana has access to land for home ownership and productive use, establish our country as one of the top 10 diamond trading centres out of the more than 20 globally, and one of the top three in Europe, the middle east and Africa and make Botswana a transport hub for the 277 million strong SADC market,” he said.
Gaolathe also promised that if voted into power, his power would develop the South East District, Gaborone and surroundings as a regional places for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions centre attracting substantial revenue yearly.
On issues of mastering international markets, Gaolathe said new business models naturally emerge with high investment in key infrastructure including significant broadband access and satellite communication capabilities.
He said AP is committed to the realization of a new Botswana characterized by a well-diversified and integrated economy in the hands of the people that would create near full employment in the next six years.
“ The contribution of Small, Micro to Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) to GDP will be raised to above 60% in the same period, which will significantly protect the country’s balance payment against the current over dependency on its neighbors,” Gaolathe said.
He said the aspirations would be delivered through a suite of interrelated economic agendas such as citizen economic empowerment, economic diversification and integration and building national capacity and capabilities.
Gaolathe said suitably qualified graduates would be recruited to fill vacant posts in public service to improve service delivery in education, health services and other government department.
He said mining industry should be used, as a catalyst to Botswana’s socio-economic development in general by enabling other values chains and by accommodating citizen owned SMMEs to be their suppliers and service providers.