State Of The Nation Address by Presidnet Mokgweetsi Masisi to the First Meeting of the First Session of the 12th Parliament
Mister Speaker, before I address this August House, I would like to request that we observe a moment of silence in remembrance of former Members of Parliament who have departed during the course of the year. Amen. I would like to thank Batswana for demonstrating a sense of political maturity and tolerance during the just ended general elections which were characterised by respect for one another, peace and transparency.
Honourable Members, this being the first time that I report on our progress in the last twelve months immediately after our general elections, it is critical for me to present my Government‘s achievements and priorities as we chart the way forward in terms of responding to the needs of Batswana.
Mister Speaker, during my Inauguration Speech on 1st November 2019, I made a number of policy pronouncements which are part of my development roadmap which seeks to propel this country to greater heights, chief amongst them being the National Transformation Strategy which is the blueprint for my Government’s Development Agenda.
Our current National Development Plan 11 (2017– 2023) is being reviewed and it is an opportune time for us to accommodate current issues and trends that will address the many challenges that we continue to face as a developing country. It is my fervent hope that Honourable Members will work with my Government to ensure that we achieve our development objectives whose aim is to improve the welfare of Batswana and to ensure that “No One is Left Behind’’.
GLOBAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW
Mister Speaker, According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook update released in October 2019, global economic activity slowed down, largely due to heightened trade tensions between the United States of America (USA) and the People’s Republic of China, as well as the weakening business and consumer confidence, which worsened financial market sentiments in emerging markets.
However, the US has since responded by implementing a flexible monetary policy stance and markets have now become more optimistic about the US-China trade deal. On the basis of the foregoing, global growth is now projected to slow from 3.6 percent in 2018 to 3.0 percent in 2019. Growth is however anticipated to revert to the 2018 level in 2020, by registering a 3.6 percent increase. The anticipated recovery in 2020 is predicated on fiscal policy stimulus that is being implemented in
For emerging markets, growth is projected to stabilise, slightly below 5 percent, whereas in Sub-Saharan Africa growth is anticipated to reach 3.2 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020. The growth rates anticipated for both 2019 and 2020 represent slight downward revisions by 1.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, owing to a decline in growth for the Republic of Angola and the Republic of Nigeria.
THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY
Mister Speaker, the domestic economic growth increased to reach 4.5 percent in 2018, following a growth of 2.9 percent recorded in 2017. This significant increase was spear-headed by the Transport and Communications, Mining and Water as well as the Electricity sectors, albeit with a decline in water and electricity value addition in the fourth quarter of 2018. The decline in the water and electricity sectors, was attributed to a plant shutdown in Morupule B, which resulted in a slowdown in domestic production which triggered an increase in demand for imported electricity.
On the domestic outlook, the economy is forecast to grow on average by 4.4 percent in the medium-term. Specifically, the economy is currently forecast to grow by 3.6 percent and 4.4 percent in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The positive prospects for the medium term outlook are underpinned by an anticipated increase in non-mining sectors. Within the non-mining sector, Trade, Hotels and Restaurants, Finance and Banking as well as the Transport and Communications sectors are anticipated to also contribute positively to economic growth.
Mister Speaker, in 2018, the inflation rate fluctuated between 2.8 percent and 3.8 percent, resulting in an average inflation rate of 3.2 percent. This reflects the Bank of Botswana’s ability to maintain inflation within its objective range of 3 to 6 percent. Inflation is anticipated to continue to remain within the Bank’s objective range in the medium term.
Foreign Exchange Reserves
Mister Speaker, As at December 2018, foreign exchange reserves stood at Seventy One billion, Four Hundred Million Pula (P71.4 billion), which represented a decline by 3.2 percent, compared to Seventy Three Billion, Seven Hundred million Pula (P73.7 billion) recorded in the same month in 2017. However, as at August 2019, foreign exchange reserves stood at Seventy Four Billion, Two Hundred Million Pula (P74.2 billion), an increase by 3.9 percent compared to the level attained in December, 2018. This increase was due to gains from asset price changes, exchange rate movements and income on reserves. The level of reserves in August 2019 is equivalent to 15 months of import cover of goods and services. Of the total amount of reserves of Seventy Four Billion, Two Hundred Million Pula (P74.2 billion), Nineteen Billion, Five Hundred Million Pula (P19.5 billion) or 26 percent is attributed to the Government Investment Account.
Exchange Rate Movements
8. Mister Speaker, the Pula nominal exchange rate appreciated by 2.4 percent against the South African Rand, while it depreciated by 1.7 percent against the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) in the twelve months to September 2019. The depreciation of the Pula against the SDR further suggests that Botswana’s export competitiveness remained positive, especially in the markets of advanced economies. Additionally, the Pula continued to show signs of a stable Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER). The REER however depreciated by 0.3 percent in the twelve months to August 2019, reflecting a lower inflation rate in Botswana compared to that of its trading partners.
9. Mister Speaker, we will continuously improve the doing business environment and competitiveness of our enterprises through close monitoring and evaluation of all our processes and procedures, as well as the regulatory framework with a view to remove impediments. When I took Office, I promised to create jobs and this cannot be achieved without rolling out the red carpet for sustainable and impactful investment. We are challenged by our market size as an economy, therefore we must come up with deliberate interventions to promote export oriented businesses which will be achieved through the Botswana Export Development Programme (BEDP), the Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) and regional integration.
10. To facilitate the ease of doing business in the country, Government is reviewing both the Immigration Act to make sure that it effectively enables the employment of non-citizens and the Point Based System to make the assessment of work permits applications fair, objective and more transparent. Furthermore, the automation of the work permit process will be carried out to improve the turnaround time for the processing of applications.
11. Moreover Government is in the process of developing a secure and
integrated system that will interface the business sector with the
immigration and civil registration systems to ensure service efficiency by
Government. This will be achieved through facilitation of online services
especially for critical functions such as VISA applications, the processing
of Work and Residence Permits and the development of the electronic
12. The Online Business Registration (OBRS) which went live in June this
year, has resulted in the reduction of the Starting-a-Business Indicator
processes from nine to seven days, as it has combined name reservation,
declaration and registration to become a single service. The OBRS has
also reduced the average turnaround time for companies and business
name registration as well as the Starting-a-Business sub-indicator from
an average of five days to one day and from Forty eight (48) days to
thirty seven (37) days, respectively.
13. Between June and September 2019, a total of fifty two thousand, three
hundred and seventy (52 370) companies were registered of which forty
one thousand, three hundred and sixty three (41 363) were reregistrations and eleven thousand and seven (11 007) being new
registrations. The total revenue collected from registrations amounted
to Eighteen Million, Two Hundred and Forty Thousand, Four Hundred
and Fifty Nine Pula and Seventy Four Thebe (P18 240 459.74).
14. The integration of the OBRS with other systems such as that of the
Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS), the Civil and National
Registration system and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal
Board (PPADB) has been completed and is operational. The last phase
which will enable companies to file annual returns online has commenced
and will be completed in March 2020.
15. Government is also in the process of amending the Environmental Impact
Assessment Act and its Regulations with a view to reducing the
turnaround time for evaluating the Environmental Impact Assessment
(EIA) project documents. The review of the EIA legislative instruments
has taken long due to the consultative and technically complex nature of
the process, but it is anticipated that this will be concluded during the
current financial year.
16. To further improve starting a business, Government has enacted both the
Trade and Industrial Development Amendment Acts, which will go a long
way in reducing the number of days for starting a business in Botswana
from forty eight (48) to thirteen (13) days. This has enabled Government
to do away with licensing of businesses that do not have health and safety
risks. The licenses will now be issued over the counter thus enhancing
the country’s performance in the country’s Competiveness Index.
Furthermore, the Industrial Policy of 2014 will also be reviewed to align
it with the aspirations of both the National Vision 2036 as well as the
dictates of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Following the approval of the
Trade and Industrial Development Acts during the July sitting of
Parliament, the development of the Trade Regulations and Industrial
Development Regulations to facilitate implementation is ongoing and they
are expected to be completed by end of the financial year.
17. Government has also reviewed the land policy that will facilitate citizens
to use their land productively by enabling a mixed use of land approach.
This is meant to empower Batswana and the guidelines pertaining to this
policy have been distributed to members of the public approach.
ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION DRIVE (EDD)
18. Mister Speaker, The Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) Strategy is
currently under review through the Programme on Support to Economic
Diversification and Inclusive Growth (EDIG), with the collaboration of the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The main aim of the
review is to assess the achievements of the intended objectives of the
EDD Strategy and to put in place interventions that will enhance its
implementation. Government will come up with legislation to ensure
compliance with the EDD provisions by all stakeholders.
Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA)
19. Mister Speaker, During the 2018/19 financial year, a total of Two
Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Six (2 466) jobs were created in the
manufacturing, property, services and agricultural sectors with a total
investment of Four Hundred and Sixty Six Million Pula (P466 million).
Project Facilitation Fund (PFF)
20. Mister Speaker, the Project Facilitation Fund which was launched in
May, 2019 was set up to assist business start-ups with funding for
Environmental Impact Assessment, soil tests and certification, as well as
promote survival of existing business enterprises. A total of five million
Pula (P5 million) has been set aside for the PFF which will be disbursed
as part grant and part loan.
The Gambling Industry
21. Mister Speaker, the Gambling Authority (GA) has embarked on a
licensing programme that will result in a National Lottery. The Lottery
will transform development and financing of charities, sports and
recreation which is expected to spur arts, culture and youth development.
The process to appoint a National Operator is ongoing and it is expected
to be concluded by the end of this financial year.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
22. Mister Speaker, In February 2019, Botswana signed the African
Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. The Agreement has
so far been signed by fifty four (54) African States and it came into force
in May 2019, following ratification by the requisite twenty two African
States. It is anticipated that the Agreement will earnestly become
effective on 1st July 2020 following the finalisation of the tariff offers by
member states. It is then that Botswana would take advantage of the
One billion, Two hundred million (1.2 billion) people that is the estimated
market in the African continent.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)
23. Mister Speaker, The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) comprises
twenty seven (27) countries from the three Regional Economic
Communities being the, Common Market for East and Southern Africa
(COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African
Development Community (SADC). Negotiations on the TFTA have since
been concluded as the member States have finalised tariff offers.
Botswana has ratified the TFTA and the process of depositing the
Instrument of Ratification will be concluded by the end of this month.
This will enable the private sector to access the TFTA market with a
combined population of nearly Six Hundred and Twenty Five million (625
million) people and a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of
approximately One trillion US Dollars (US$1.0 trillion).
24. So far, Government has held consultative engagements with the
Botswana Meat Commission, Botswana Ash, the Botswana Vaccine
Institute, and Flo-Tek on how to immediately access the East African
Community market. This has also afforded Government an opportunity
to understand challenges encountered by exporting enterprises.
The African Opportunity Act (AGOA)
25. Mister Speaker, following the extension of the African Opportunity Act
(AGOA) to 2025, Botswana developed a National Response Strategy and
its implementation is ongoing. To date, work plans have been developed
and some progress has been realised under the arts and crafts and meat
and meat products sectors.
26. Under the Arts and Crafts sector, Botswana will collaborate with Eswatini
Fair Trade to leverage on best practices and assist in developing a
comprehensive strategy for the sector which will constitute external
market access and local capacity building targeted at crafters in rural
areas. Additionally, a storage facility, as a pilot project for Shakawe,
Gumare and Etsha areas, has been set up in Gumare to ensure that
various basketry weavers are accorded the opportunity to expand their
market base and exhibit their products to potential international tourists.
27. Government has also commenced the establishment of an e-commerce
platform or market place for purposes of availing and marketing arts and
crafts while the profiling and packaging of selected products for eventual
uploading on the marketplace is ongoing.
28. Mister Speaker, The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre’s (BITC)
promotion drive created Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty One
(3 981) jobs during the 2018/2019 financial year. The Services,
Agriculture and Agro-processing sectors followed by the Manufacturing
Sector contributed more to realizing these jobs. The cumulative Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI) inflows amounting to Three Billion, Two Hundred
and Twenty million Pula (P3.220 billion) were realized, largely attributable
to the more than expected performance from the Financial Services
Sector. The realised cumulative Domestic Investment and Expansions for
the same period was Two billion, Six Hundred and Eight million Pula
29. The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre continues to carry out
several initiatives targeted towards expanding Botswana’s export base.
Exporting companies who benefited from the Botswana Export
Development Programme realised Three billion, Two Hundred and Ninety
Nine million Pula (P3.299 billion) of export earnings in the past year.
Special Economic Zones
30. Mister Speaker, you may recall that eight Special Economic Zone sites
have been mapped nationally at the following locations, The Sir Seretse
Khama International Airport (SSKIA), Fairgrounds, Lobatse,
Pandamatenga, Palapye, Selibe Phikwe, Tuli Block, and Francistown. So
far, progress is being made with regard to the development of the four
priority zones being Sir Seretse Khama International Airport whose Master
plan has been approved and the process of developing detailed designs
has commenced. Furthermore, a site has been identified at
Pandamatenga to be used for processing and manufacturing purposes for
their agriculture products. Within the same zone, more land has been
identified to house twelve (12) silos each totalling Five Thousand (5000)
metric tonnes steel grain storage facility.
31. Mister Speaker, In our quest to continuously grow and diversify the
economy as well as develop exports, my Government continues to
implement the Cluster Development programme aimed at improving
business productivity, value chains and competitiveness. The model
largely focusses on promoting private sector growth, by facilitating
linkages and interdependence among companies, hence improving their
performance in the production of goods and services and there-by
32. As I indicated in my inaugural address last year, the project started in
February 2018 with three prioritized sectors of Beef in Molopo to
Sandveld including Kweneng, south East and Kgatleng regions; Tourism
in Ngamiland region; and , Finance and Knowledge Intensive Business
Services in Gaborone. I am happy to indicate that export-led strategies
for the three clusters have been developed and are currently being
handed over to the implementing ministries. It is worth acknowledging
the key role played by the private sector as well as the academia in
developing these strategies and the role they continue to play in their
implementation. I wish to implore these parties to continue embracing
this initiative as this will expand the domestic economy and bring to
reality the shift to a private sector-led economy.
33. The Government will continue to develop more sectors, with Diamond
Beneficiation in Gaborone and Small Stock in Lobu area in the Kgalagadi
district coming before the end of this financial year.
34. In order to develop the indigenous expertise in Cluster-based
competitiveness in Botswana, a Training of Trainers Course is ongoing
at the Botswana Public Service College, in partnership with the European
Foundation for Cluster Excellence. After completing the course, the
Trainers will not only be qualified to train in Botswana but in the region
Early Childhood Education (ECE)
35. Mister Speaker, Government continues to expand the provision of Early
Childhood Education (ECE) in public schools to improve learner readiness
for school and lifelong learning. The overall objective of this programme
is to ensure learner readiness at Standard One. The number of public
primary schools offering the year long reception class programme has
increased from One Hundred and Twenty Two (122) in 2014 when the
program started, to Five Hundred and Ninety (590) in April 2019 which
translates to 78.1 percent of Public Primary schools providing Early
36. The Five Hundred and Ninety (590) schools had an enrolment of Twenty
Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty Seven (23 637) pupils as at April
2019. This has increased the net enrolment of children in the early
childhood education programme from 17 percent in 2014 to 39 percent
against a target of 80 percent in 2019. The aim is to have all the Seven
Hundred and Fifty Five (755) public primary schools in the country
offering the programme by 2022.
Introduction of Outcome Based Education System at Senior
37. Mister Speaker, As I indicated in my Inauguration speech on 1st
November, 2019, Government continues to implement some critical
reform programmes under the Education and Training Sector Strategic
Plan (ETSSP) aimed at enhancing access and quality education in line
with the local and global demands. Central to these reforms is the
introduction of multiple pathways at senior secondary school level where
students will pursue subjects of their interest and capability through the
Outcome Based Education (OBE) Programme. The implementation of this
programme is expected to commence in January 2021. Two schools have
been identified for the introduction of multiple pathways being Maun
Senior Secondary school for Tourism and Hospitality and a Moeng College
for Agriculture and Horticulture. Other schools are being considered for
the roll out of pathways.
38. To improve curriculum delivery, continuous in-service training is offered
to upgrade the competencies of teachers. Government, continues to
upgrade Primary School Teacher Certificate holders to diploma level. To
date 98 percent of primary school teachers hold a Diploma as a minimum
teaching qualification. Furthermore, teachers are capacitated to use
technology as a platform for learning.
39. Mister Speaker, Government continues to implement the Inclusive
Education Policy of 2011 to ensure access and equity in education
particularly for learners with special needs as supported by the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This has resulted in an increase
in the enrolment of learners with special needs from Five Thousand,
Three Hundred and Forty Nine (5349) in 2017, to Five Thousand and Four
Hundred (5 400) in 2018. Moreover, Government has commenced the
process of developing a language policy in readiness for the introduction
of other languages in schools. The establishment of the Botswana
Teaching Council (BIL) which is aimed at professionalising teaching was
passed by the July 2019 Parliament Meeting and preparations for its
establishment are underway.
Scaling up Access to Vocational Education and Training
40. Mister Speaker, to align the Vocational Education and Training
curriculum to modern technology and industry needs, Government has
started the review of three levels of curriculum according to the National
Credit Qualifications Framework (NCQF).
41. For the smooth transition and transfer of the examination function to the
Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) and in order for Government to
continue with the examination of artisans, the Madirelo Training and
Testing Centre (MTTC) is being accredited as an awarding body whilst
the Construction Industry Trust Fund (CITF) has been accredited as an
Education Training Provider (ETP) by the Botswana Qualifications
42. Government has extended CITF services through the development of
rapid skills centres across the country. The rapid skills centres at Tsau,
Chadibe and Moreomaoto are operational, while the Thamaga centre has
been completed. Plans are underway for the establishment of six (6) more
rapid skills centres at Sojwe, Khakhea, Phitshane-Molopo, Bokspits,
Ncojane and Shakawe. Stakeholders who included tribal leaders, civic
leaders, and land board authorities have already been consulted on the
projects, and sites for these centres have been identified and duly
Botswana Examinations Council Transformation (BEC)
43. Mister Speaker, Government intends to expand the mandate of the
Botswana Examinations Council to include vocational education training
(VET) assessments and align it to the National Credit and Qualifications
Framework (NCQF). The objectives are to provide strong assessment
systems with data to facilitate teaching and learning, monitoring and
certification of learners in general education and Technical Vocational
Education and Training (TVET), the review of assessment programmes in
order to align them to the NCQF and the review and introduction of new
qualifications that meet the demands of the labour market. The
Botswana Examinations Council Amendment Bill has been approved by
44. Mister Speaker, the provision of quality health care remains one of my
Government’s top priorities. This is evidenced by our commitment to the
global call to Universal Health Coverage and health systems
strengthening, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals,
specifically Target 3.8 which talks to “Achieving Universal Health
45. Mister Speaker, in pursuit of the global maternal mortality ratio target
of less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030, Botswana experienced a
notable decrease from 156.6 per 100 000 live births in 2016 to 143.2 per
100 000 live births in 2017. Government intends to resuscitate intensive
maternal healthcare strategies, including the appointment of a National
Coordinator for Maternal Mortality reduction, and the engagement of
relevant stakeholders to come up with holistic solutions to address the
maternal mortality ratio in Botswana.
46. Mister Speaker, according to the 2018 Botswana Demographic Survey,
there is a major setback in both Infant and under five mortality rates. The
Infant mortality rate increased from 17 per 1000 live births in the 2011
census compared to 38 per 1000 live births in 2018, while the under five
mortality rate increased from 28 per 1000 live births in the 2011 census
to 56 per 1000 live births in 2018. These figures are set against the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets of 12 per 1000 live births
and 25 per 1000 live births for Infant and under five mortality rates,
respectively. The increase in the mortality rates is mainly attributed to
hygiene related issues particularly in rural areas where resources are
limited. To address these challenges, Government is continuously
implementing programmes that provide equitable and robust child
survival mechanisms to accelerate the uptake of High Impact
Interventions including Breast feeding, Immunizations, Zinc Sulphate,
Vitamin A supplementation and Oral Rehydration Salts.
Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases
47. Mister Speaker, Government continues to spend significant financial
resources as well as deployment of human and material resources
towards the fight against Communicable and Non-Communicable
48. Having recognized the health and economic burdens of the escalating
rates of non- communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country, the
Botswana Multi Sectoral Strategy for the prevention and control of NonCommunicable Diseases for 2018-2023 was developed. The strategy
provides an opportunity for, among other things, a focus on the
Government’s ability to restore the quality of life for those affected;
defining prevention, primary care, holistic and multi-sectoral strategies
in the fight against NCDs; as well as outlining a roadmap of critical
activities that will be integrated by various stakeholders in addressing
NCDs and pursuing a good lifestyle.
49. With regards to communicable diseases, Botswana faces a big challenge
in that, an estimated six thousand, (6000) people per annum are affected
by Tuberculosis (TB). The emergence of Drug Resistant forms of the
disease threatens to hinder the gains made in combating the disease.
Since the establishment of Multi-Drug Resistant TB Clinical Centres in
2007, the country has registered One Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty
Eight (1238) cases with an average of One Hundred (100) cases being
registered every year.
National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA)
50. Mister Speaker, In 2018, Government expanded the mandate of the
National AIDS Coordinating Agency to encompass Non-Communicable
Diseases (NCDs). The National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency
(NAHPA) has therefore commenced implementing both the third National
Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS and the National NCDs Strategy,
jointly launched in June 2019.
51. The two strategies will serve as roadmaps for the country’s response to
these epidemics for the next five years. Furthermore, the strategies will
strengthen public awareness and community mobilization on the
prevention and control of NCDs and HIV to address risk factors.
52. Botswana is on track to achieving the United Nations 90-90-90 Fast-Track
targets. According to the current programme data, 86 per cent of people
living with HIV had tested and knew their status. Of those who knew their
status 83 per cent were on treatment and 96 per cent were virally
suppressed. Botswana is a high burden country with Three Hundred and
Seventy Thousand (370,000) people estimated to be living with HIV and
an adult prevalence rate of more than 20 percent. UNAIDS further
estimates that new HIV infections stood at Eight Thousand, Five Hundred
(8,500) in 2018. A third of such new HIV infections occurred among
young people aged 15-24 years, of which 67 percent were young women
indicating an even higher risk of infections among Adolescent Girls and
53. My Government allocates resources annually through our national budget
and those mobilized from partners, to the HIV programme. Like any other
country that battles with issues of development, there are ineffective
social systems in some areas. We are nevertheless steadfast in ensuring
a legal and policy environment for all players to participate and play their
part. Recently we announced the provision of free antiretroviral treatment
to all, including non-citizens.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
54. Mister Speaker, the number of people who require care as a result of
excessive consumption of alcohol and other substances (drugs) has
increased over the years and is a major source of concern to Government.
Government is rehabilitating people with alcohol and other Substance Use
Disorders (SUD) in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations
(NGOs). These clients are either referred to facilities run by NGOs or by
Government health facilities to deal with their different challenges.
55. Government has identified the Old Serowe Institute of Health Sciences
(IHS) as a facility that will serve as the first National Substance Use
Treatment Centre. Now that the designs for this Centre are complete, the
refurbishment will commence soon and it will be completed in twenty two
(22) months. Both in and outpatient services will be provided for in this
facility. The facility will also improve access to emergency and trauma
care services in order to reduce mortality and morbidity related to noncommunicable diseases.
Availability of Drugs
56. Mister Speaker, national drug availability has been a challenge in our
health system with worrying trends of sporadic and widespread
shortages across the country. As at the end of September 2019, there is
a notable improvement with availability averaging 80 percent at health
facilities across the country. This is due to local micro-procurement at
facilities while awaiting deliveries from the Central Medical Stores (CMS).
57. To further improve on drug supplies at CMS, Government is working on
implementing other strategic interventions such as purchasing medicines
through SADC Pooled Procurement Protocol which has been signed by
member states, and through international pooled procurement agencies
or key partners United Nations agencies such as the World Health
58. Mister Speaker, in order to fully address rehabilitation needs of people
with complex neurological conditions and traumas arising from among
others road traffic accidents, injuries of one form or another; work is at
an advanced stage to develop the National Health Rehabilitation Policy
which will pave the way for the establishment of a specialised
rehabilitation centre. This centre will need specialized personnel and
equipment to produce the desired results.
59. Mister Speaker, the construction of health facilities across the country
is ongoing and projects are at different levels of completion. The
upgrading of clinics is progressing satisfactorily at various villages, such
as Mochudi, Sepopa, Ngarange, Toteng, D’kar, Kauxwi, Borotsi and
Dibete. All these projects started in the last financial year. Staff housing
units are part of these projects and will upon completion, go a long way
in reducing shortage of accommodation for health workers. All these
projects are scheduled for completion this financial year.
60. Primary Hospitals, particularly at the level of seventy (70) beds capacity
are also under construction. These include Shakawe and Moshupa. The
upgrading of the Tutume and Gumare Primary Hospitals are at the design
stage levels. Other health infrastructure projects that were recently
completed and handed over to Government include the Kachikau Clinic,
Rakops Operating Theatre, Old Mahalapye Hospital as well as staff houses
in Mabutsane, Mathangwane and Maitengwe.
61. During this financial year, a total of Two Hundred and Sixty One Million
Pula (P261, 000, 000) was set aside for the maintenance of buildings and
replacement of key equipment and plants such as boilers, chillers,
generators, and laundry machines.
62. Mister Speaker, The Ipelegeng Programme has contributed to
improved livelihoods through the provision of temporary relief to
vulnerable groups in rural and urban communities. The Programme has
also contributed to the development of communities through undertaking
of various construction and maintenance projects of essential public
facilities within the communities.
Drought Management Strategy
63. Mister Speaker, Government has taken a decision to develop a Drought
Management Strategy which would classify drought as a permanent
feature in our budget plans rather than an emergency. The strategy will
be completed before the end of this financial year. In view of the
prolonged dry spell period, Government has declared the 2018/19
financial year as a drought year with mitigation measures being a 35
percent subsidy on livestock feeds; emergency food baskets in the
Kgalagadi, Okavango and the North East Districts and continuation of
rations for children under the age of five and school feeding at primary
People with Disabilities
64. Mister Speaker, I am pleased to inform this august house that
significant progress has been made, which will pave the way for Botswana
to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities by developing a Draft National Disability Framework.
65. Following wide public consultations, work on the Revision of the National
Disability Policy of 2019, the Strategy, Implementation Plan as well as the
development of a Bill relating to People with Disabilities, have been
completed. The Revised Policy and the Bill will be submitted to Parliament
66. Mister Speaker, In order to enhance the management of disaster risk
in the country, a Multi-hazard Contingency Plan is being developed with
the financial support from the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), and it is expected to be finalised next year. This Plan shifts from
the single sectoral approach of managing disasters to a more systematic
and collaborative disaster planning system that will enhance response
time to all types of disasters, maximise loss of life, damage to property
as well as prioritise the needs of vulnerable groups in our society.
67. Mister Speaker, Poverty, unemployment and inequality, , remain
challenges faced by the country and both the reason that the National
Vision 2036 and the National Development Plan 11 have prioritised these
challenges to ensure lasting solutions are pursued to reverse the trends.
68. Since the inception of the Poverty Eradication Programme in 2011, a total
of Thirty Eight Thousand, and Four Hundred and Eighteen (38,418)
beneficiaries have been funded, out of which Twenty-Nine Thousand,
Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven (29, 877) projects are operating. Five
Thousand Six Hundred and Nine (5, 609) projects are at different stages
of implementation across the country. The operating projects have
created Thirty Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighteen (33, 918)
69. In addressing the delays in packaging and backlogs that resulted in
significant numbers waiting to be assisted, Government has so far cleared
the backlog in Kgatleng, Sowa, South East, North East, North West,
Boteti, Bobirwa, Lobatse and Francistown. Progress is being made to
clear Palapye, and Jwaneng soon, with the ultimate results being to
significantly reduce the backlog in all other districts.
70. Mister Speaker, the Exit strategy was developed and launched in
February this year. It clearly outlines interventions that facilitate
graduation of beneficiaries with excelling projects. To date Two Thousand
and Ninety Four (2, 094) excelling projects have graduated from the
programme. I awarded certificates of graduation to Thirty (30) of these
beneficiaries during the National Poverty Eradication Expo early this year.
Provision of Breakfast at Primary Schools
71. Mister Speaker, Government started providing breakfast meals at
Primary Schools in April 2019 with a view to promote optimal health,
growth and development, prevention of nutritional deficiencies as well
as align the primary school menu to that of secondary schools. The menu
for primary schools will support poverty eradication and home-grown
feeding initiatives to economically empower and capacitate Batswana and
promote micro and small-scale entrepreneurship.
72. Mister Speaker, It is important to highlight that Government recognises
gender equity as fundamental to sustainable development. To this end,
Government continues to support women in accessing markets through
Annual Business Expositions. In 2019, Government hosted the 20
National Women’s Exposition of which a total of One Hundred and Sixty
Nine (169) women entrepreneurs showcased their products including,
food processing and packaging, agricultural products, leather, clothing,
caskets, cosmetics and jewellery. The Women’s Economic Empowerment
Programme is being reviewed and the exercise will be finalised before the
end of this financial year.
73. Government has noted with concern that Gender Based Violence (GBV)
is one of the critical issues that impede women, girls and men from fully
enjoying their human rights and unleashing their potential. The National
Relationship Study of 2018 revealed that 37 percent of women and 21
percent of men have suffered some form of violence in their lifetime
which occurred within Intimate Partner Relationships. To address this
problem, Government will intensify the implementation of the National
Strategy Towards Ending Gender Based Violence. The Strategy focuses
on the comprehensive care and support of GBV survivors; the Prevention
of new GBV incidences; Strengthening national capacity to address GBV;
Improving efficiency and effectiveness of the coordination and
management of the national GBV response; and Strategic information and
knowledge management on GBV.
REVIEW OF THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 2001
74. The Marriage Act is currently under review to provide for amongst others,
the registration of religious and traditional marriages, monitoring and
regulation of appointed Marriage Officers, as well as to review the age of
consent for marriages.
INTRODUCTION OF THE BOTSWANA BLUE CARD (BBC)
75. Mister Speaker, Government has introduced the Botswana Blue Card
(BBC) to allow persons who ceased to be citizens of Botswana, such as
those who have renounced Botswana citizenship, to retain the right to
unlimited stay in Botswana. The Botswana Blue Card holders will have
the right to visit, live and work in Botswana. However, they will not be
entitled to Omang and the Botswana Passport because they would have
ceased to be citizens of Botswana at the time they acquired the
citizenship of another country.
76. Mister Speaker, Participation in the Youth Business Exposition grew
from Two Hundred and Twenty Four (224) in 2016/17 to Six hundred and
Two (602) in 2018/19. The winners are offered mentorship by
stakeholders and also benefit from training and mentorship. The Youth
exchange platform is also a form of youth empowerment which offers
young people an opportunity to benchmark best practices both locally
Youth in Agriculture
77. Mister Speaker, Government is currently marketing and positioning
agriculture as an attractive and financially rewarding career of choice to
young people. The campaign is expected to attract talented and
commercially minded young farmers into the agricultural industry.
Currently young people contribute 12 percent, 6.4 percent and 2.25
percent to rainfed arable production, beekeeping and horticulture
production, respectively. Youth participation in commercial livestock
production is currently at less than 4 percent.
Review of the Youth Development Fund and Botswana Youth Policy
78. The review the Youth Development Fund to identify gaps in its
implementation and provide a simple model on youth economic
empowerment is ongoing. The review of the Botswana National Youth
Policy with technical assistance from the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) will be completed by the end of this financial year.
The aim is to make the policy more relevant and youth-centric to better
serve their interests.
Development of Property Valuation and Rating Regulations
79. Mister Speaker, In implementing the Local Government Act of 2012,
Government initiated the development of Property Valuation and Rating
Regulations to ensure the application of property valuation and rates in
the rural areas and this maximise local levels economic growth. The
regulations have been gazetted and are ready for dissemination to
stakeholders before the end of the financial year.
Formulation of the National Decentralisation Policy
80. Mister Speaker, The formulation of the National Decentralisation Policy
is at an advanced stage. It is expected to be completed during this
financial year. Upon its completion and approval, this policy will work as
a tool to guide the overall service delivery, coordinate and align decision
making to enhance democracy at the national and local levels and
promote popular participation for sustainable national development.
81. Mister Speaker, the construction work for village infrastructure projects
in Gabane, Tutume and Kang commenced in 2017/2018 and will be
completed by the end of the financial year. As at June 2019, progress
stood at 72 percent for both the Gabane and Tutume projects and 78
percent at Kang, while Six Hundred and Eighty Seven (687) people have
been employed. The completion of these infrastructure projects will not
only make these villages alternative investment locations and grow local
economies but will also create employment opportunities and improve
user safety and reduce damage to property due to uncontrolled storm
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FOOD SECURITY
82. Mister Speaker, The food import bill in 2018 was estimated at Seven
Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty Five Million Pula (P7.745 billion)
compared to Six Billion, Eight Hundred and Sixty Three million Pula
(P6.863 billion) in 2017. The bulk of food items imported are dairy and
dairy products followed by fruits and vegetables.
83. The dairy sector has a well-organized value chain compared to other
agricultural commodities and has clear linkages regarding production,
processing, distribution and marketing. Since milk processing plants such
as Clover Botswana and Parmalat are already established, Government is
leveraging on these to promote the establishment of commercial dairy
farms, to produce adequate raw milk and feed the value chain. The
annual national demand for milk was Sixty Five Million (65 million) litres
during the 2018/19 financial year. However, Nine million, Five Hundred
and Eighty Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Five and a Half (9
582 985.5) litres of milk was produced locally, compared to Eight million,
Six Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighty One
and a half (8 657 781. 5) litres produced in 2017/18. This increase in
liquid milk is attributable to the implementation of the dairy strategy.
84. The upcoming Milk Afric Dairy farm in Lobatse is expected to milk five
hundred (500) cows which will significantly increase milk production in
the next financial year. This farm is expected to gradually grow the
number of milking cows to Two thousand (2,000) by adding five hundred
(500) cows every year. Sunnyside Dairy Farm which is the major supplier
of liquid milk is continuing to expand and to date it produces Five Hundred
Thousand (500 000) litres of milk per month.
85. Government is also establishing marketing infrastructure to facilitate
market access. The Pitsane Milk Collection Plant has been renovated.
Efforts are also ongoing to assist farmers to manage the Serowe Milk
Pasteurizing Plant which is not operating at full capacity, producing only
Eight Thousand (8 000) litres of milk per day. There are other smaller
milk collection plants in Maun, Selebi Phikwe, Ghanzi and Molepolole that
have been assisted to supply milk to Government institutions in their
86. Mister Speaker, During the 2018/19 financial year, a total of Two
Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, Two Hundred and Ten (271 210)
cattle were slaughtered both at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC)
and private slaughter facilities, against the annual target of Three
Hundred and Ten Thousand and Nine hundred (310 900) animals.
87. There has been a recorded decline of the national cattle population from
three million, one hundred thousand (3.1 million) in the last seven (7)
years to an estimated two (2) million in 2018. This is a worrisome trend
which Government is responding to in a number of ways to increase the
national herd. As a way of responding to this situation, Government has
adopted a Beef Cluster Strategy which has identified areas of
improvement which include; ways of upgrading production, research and
technology transfer and promotion and marketing of beef.
88. This is done in partnership with the Government of New Zealand through
the Beef Productivity Training Programme at Ramatlabama Ranches. The
programme offers training to farmers and herdsman on best farm
practices and animal production initiatives and is meant to equip farmers
with industry led, livestock management and increase on calving rate on
an annual basis.
89. Furthermore, the strategy to liberalise the Botswana Beef Export market
has been completed and will guide the future of the beef industry in
Botswana. The implementation of the strategy will include amongst other
things the establishment of a Meat Regulator, a liberalized, competitive
and open market for beef products and live cattle, harmonized legislation
and regulations across the beef sub sector in compliance with health and
90. Moreover the implementation of the strategy calls for the restructuring of
the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), separation of the linked abattoirs
of Lobatse, Maun and Francistown, and the privatization of the
organisation. It has been necessary to review the sales and marketing of
the BMC Beef and removal of its export monopoly as well as its
distribution to various regional and international markets to ensure value
for money and the sustainability of the company. This will yield a
competitive price structure and an improved turnaround time for payment
of farmers. The Botswana Meat Commission Transition Bill has been
passed in Parliament as part of the initiatives to effect some of these
Small Stock Development
91. Mister Speaker, In 2018/2019, Over Six Hundred and Twenty One
(621) and about Three Hundred and Nineteen (319) tonnes of goat meat
and mutton were produced in the country respectively, while the
demand for the goat meat and mutton stands at, One thousand, Seven
Hundred (1700) and Five Hundred and Fifty (550) tonnes. Therefore
there is a need to develop the commodity value chains to increase
92. To transform the smallstock sub-sector, Government developed a
smallstock farm at Lobu, which will later be replicated in other areas. A
total of Five Hundred and Fifty Six (556) stud animals, Dorper sheep and
Boer goat have been acquired to improve the quality of the national
stock. The long-term objectives are to improve productivity and
commercialize operations, strengthen centres of excellence at strategic
areas for farmers to benchmark and support upstream infrastructure
development while securing markets locally and internationally through
available trade agreements.
93. Mister Speaker, Government is in the process of developing an
Aquaculture Development Policy and Strategy for Botswana which will
guide the country on how to grow this sub sector. Currently,
Government is operating a Fish Hatchery Rehabilitation in Mmadinare
which produces fingerlings. To further promote fish utilization by
communities, five (5) community projects are at different stages of
development. These are the, Thito Village Development Committee
(VDC) Integrated Fish farming Project, Toteng Fish Farming Project,
Kareng Project and the Shakawe Region Development Support Society
Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development
94. Mister Speaker, The LIMID programme is progressing well and in the
2018/19 financial year, Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Nine (6 909)
applicants benefited from the programme, of which Three Thousand
Seven Hundred and Eighteen (3 718) were youth.
The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme
95. Mister Speaker, In an effort to promote agriculture, food production
and security in Botswana, Government continues to implement the
Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme. The main objective of the
Scheme is to assist farmers to repay part of their loans in cases of crop
failure due to drought, floods, frost and hailstorm.
96. Following the declaration of 2018/2019 as a drought year, Government
has paid One Hundred and Thirty Four Million, Three Hundred and
Sixteen Thousand , Five Hundred and Seventy Six Pula, (P134 316 576)
to assist farmers who received arable loans from CEDA and the NDB.
This amount is equivalent to 85 percent of the farmer’s instalments in
2018/2019. The Scheme is in the process of being reviewed to align it
with developments in the agricultural sub-sector and to establish the
feasibility and sustainability of extending it to cover additional
agricultural subsectors and other causes of loss other than drought,
floods, frost and hailstorm, as well as to include other financing
97. Mister Speaker, in horticulture, domestic production has registered
consistent growth in the past years due to increased production of
potatoes and tomatoes. Current production stands at Sixty Three
Thousand, Four Hundred and Eighty Seven (63 487) tonnes, accounting
for 42.4 percent of the national demand of One Hundred and Twelve
Thousand (112 000) tonnes. The restriction on the importation of
horticulture products such as border closures has helped in developing
the local horticulture sector, particularly the fresh vegetables production.
98. As a result, local production of fresh vegetables has shown steady
growth over the last ten (10) years in terms of production and the
number of farmers taking part in this sector. The total number of
horticulture farmers increased by 61 percent from Four Hundred (400)
in 2008 to One Thousand and Eighteen (1018) in 2018. Output of the
sector also registered impressive growth over the same period,
increasing from Thirty Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ninety (37
890) tonnes to Sixty Five Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety Eight (65
698) tonnes in the same period.
99. A notable development in this sector has been the significant increase
in the domestic production of non-traditional products such as potatoes.
Potato production increased from Two Thousand, Five Hundred (2 500)
tonnes in 2010 to Eighteen Thousand, and Fifty Nine (18 059) tonnes in
Foot and Mouth Disease
100. Mister Speaker, Disease pressure on cattle is high particularly Foot
and Mouth Disease (FMD). FMD outbreaks limit the movement of cattle
resulting in temporary closure of export markets in the affected areas.
The high occurrence of measles also has had adverse effects on the beef
exports. However, the Measles Control Strategy is beginning to bear fruit
as the prevalence of this disease has dropped to 6.5 percent from 8
percent reported during the launch of the strategy in August 2018.
101. Government has made improvements in the control of FMD due to the
successful implementation of the vaccination strategy. As a result, The
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has approved Botswana’s
application for the reinstatement of the FMD free status for Zone 7,
which was lost on account of the outbreak of FMD in May 2011. This
listing is expected to expand the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) green
zone thus increasing the number of cattle illegible for lucrative markets.
102. Government continues to rehabilitate cordon fences with priority given
to frontier fences bordering FMD affected zones. These fences are
barriers for FMD control. However, constant damage of cordon fences
by elephants especially in the North West and Central Districts puts
severe strain on resources and it is unsustainable in the long term.
Drought Mitigations in Agriculture
103. Following the declaration of 2018/19 as a drought year, Government
introduced drought subsidies on livestock feeds, vaccines and
deworming drugs. The initial 25 percent drought subsidy elapsed in June
2019 and was preceded by a further 35 percent up to June 2020. The
subsidy is expected to act as a relief measure for livestock farmers. Since
its inception a total of Fourteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Nine
(14 599) livestock farmers participated in the drought subsidy, of which
Thirteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty (13 220) were males and
One Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Nine (1 379) females while
youth beneficiaries were One Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy
Eight (1 378).
104. Moreover, a slaughter price incentive of three Pula per kilogram (P3/kg)
on direct slaughter across all meat grades at the Botswana Meat
Commission (BMC) was also introduced from June to September 2019
to help mitigate direct drought impact to farmers. A total of thirty nine
thousand, seven hundred and forty eight (39 748) cattle received the
price incentive amounting to Twenty Nine Million, Nine Hundred and
Eighty Three Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Three Pula (P29 983
553) which directly benefited one thousand, one hundred and forty
people (1140) who supplied the BMC over that period.
105. Government further granted a temporary window for export of live cattle
for immediate slaughter from June 2019 to March 2020 as a drought
intervention measure. A total of One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty
Two (1662) cattle have so far been exported. These combined drought
interventions have had a positive effect on farmers and private sector
stakeholders’ incomes, increased off-take and prevention of losses of
animals that could have perished in the deteriorated pastures due to
106. As a long term intervention, Government intends to establish fodder
banks and fodder reserves in a way such that there will be adequate
livestock feeds during the dry periods including the production of Napier
Botswana Animal Information and Traceability System (BAITS)
107. Mister Speaker, the Botswana Animal Information and Traceability
System (BAITS) is undergoing upgrade to enhance its functionality and
facilitate offline access by farmers and extension officers. This is
expected to enable registration of communal holdings and geo-
referencing thus giving communal farmers’ direct access to the
European Union (EU) market. At least sixty (60) BAITS cafes have been
established around the country to improve animal information capturing
and permit issuance especially in rural areas.
108. Government has successfully controlled the outbreak of Bont tick in the
Tubu and Gumare area. The tick transmits several diseases including
dermatophylosis, locally known as Senkobo, a very debilitating condition
in livestock. About twenty four thousand (24 000) cattle, three thousand
nine hundred (3 900) small stock and three hundred and eight five (385)
donkeys and horses were dipped and treated. This intervention has
significantly reduced mortality and infestation levels.
109. Mister Speaker, In an effort to empower citizens, Government has
made strides in the privatisation and management of campsites by
citizens in protected areas especially National Parks to generate income
and create employment. To date out of a total of Two Thousand, One
Hundred and Seven (2 107) licensed tourism enterprises, One
Thousand, Five Hundred Seventy Seven (1 577) are wholly citizen
owned, Two Hundred and Sixty Nine (269) are joint ventures while Two
Hundred and Sixty One (261) are non–citizen owned.
110. The development of the tourism cluster has started with Ngamiland
Tourism Cluster as a pilot project. The implementation of this cluster is
critical to provide learnings for rolling out clusters in other parts of the
111. In September 2019, Government reviewed Tourism Policy. The Policy
highlights several critical success factors necessary to support its vision
which include efficient management of National Parks, Forests and
Game Reserves and other Wildlife Management Areas; Mainstreaming
of tourism in Government planning process; Improvement of access and
infrastructure; Meaningful citizen and community participation in the
industry; Enhanced Public/Private Sector Partnerships and Product
112. The tourism sector is narrowly focused on wildlife and wilderness
tourism. The development, diversification and expansion of tourism
attractions and experiences are pre-requisites for Botswana to expand
its market reach and share. To achieve this, the policy intervention for
Product Development and Diversification will cover various strategies
i. Broadening the tourism base by adding new product
ii. Pursuing tourism linkages such as mining, diamond tours,
diamond shopping, game ranching and farming and arts and
iii. Identifying underdeveloped cultural/natural attractions and
sites with tourism potential and initiate a programme for
upgrading and improving visitor access, interpretation and
amenities at such locations;
113. Government has made significant efforts in empowering of citizens
through privatization and management of campsites in protected areas
especially the National Parks. In order to increase access and benefits
to communities for sustainable livelihood improvement, Government will
engage various strategies including;
i. Increasing the level of community and citizen participation,
partnerships and involvement in the tourism sector by solely
reserving the existing vacant concessions for allocation to citizen
companies or consortia or joint ventures or community trusts;
ii. Agreeing on clear and transparent criteria for foreign
concessionaires and local business owners pertaining to local
community participation and benefits including persuading existing
concession operators to issue part of shareholding to citizens;
iii. Subdividing existing larger concessions with a view to establishing
new ones for the allocation of citizens;
iv. Allowing that land allocated to citizens through tourism citizen
economic empowerment model be used as collateral by allottees to
secure shareholding and or partnership;
114. Government has embarked on the development of site museums,
interpretation centres and heritage sites. Heritage is being used to grow
our tourism as the modern tourist is interested in the history and
people’s culture. A Master Plan for the development of heritage tourism
in the south of Botswana is underway. Botswana, Namibia and Angola
are engaged in a trans-boundary project to list Okavango as a World
Heritage site in the riparian states.
115. These undertakings will ensure that the country’s Cultural Property is
protected and avails the opportunity to recover items that may or might
have found themselves illegally on foreign countries.
116. Human-wildlife conflict has escalated due to the current drought
conditions. Additional funds have been approved for the Ministry of
Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism to provide
water for wildlife to alleviate the impact of water shortages and augment
water points in game reserves and wildlife management areas. To date,
eighteen (18) additional boreholes have been drilled in Chobe National
Park, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
In addition, two (2) boreholes have been equipped and ten (10) wells
drilled in Okavango (Nxaraga/Qubu) for watering wildlife. Government
will also review the alignment of the Makgadikgadi Fence to ensure its
effectiveness in reducing human-wildlife conflict around Boteti area.
117. The Government continues to build capacity to counter the growing
threat of wildlife poaching and trafficking. The construction of the Kang
anti-poaching and training facility is at 95 percent and will be complete
before the end of 2019-20 financial year. Sniffer dogs to detect wildlife
contraband at ports of entry and exit and along identified smuggling
routes have become a key component of the arsenal to combat wildlife
crime. Efforts are being stepped up to improve stakeholder participation
in combating wildlife crime. To this end a public awareness strategy has
been developed and approved under the Government and GEF jointly
funded Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Dryland Ecosystem Project. It is
anticipated that the strategy will improve understanding of stakeholders’
roles in reducing human-wildlife conflict and combating wildlife crime in
the project area.
118. Following the decision to re-instate hunting in April 2019, Government
is currently working on developing Hunting Guidelines to provide
direction on hunting. Citizen hunting resumed in 2019 and it is
anticipated that the same will be extended to community trust areas and
concessions in April 2020. In preparation for community hunting, quotas
will be issued by December 2019 to allow for marketing ahead of the
2020 hunting season.
119. A major lesson learnt from the 2014 hunting moratorium is the
unintended alienation of communities who felt that they were not
benefitting from the natural resources around them. The lifting of the
moratorium will mitigate the negative impacts of the moratorium in
communities which include perceived alteration of communities from
deriving benefits from natural resources around them, collapse of civil
society organisations due to reduced incomes and reduced employment
opportunities and income-generation activities. It is expected that
hunting will contribute significantly to reducing the human/wildlife
conflict by creating viable and balanced populations.
120. Botswana participated in the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES) in wild fauna and flora 18th Conference of
Parties (CoP) held in Geneva, Switzerland. A proposal to trade in ivory
jointly submitted by Botswana and other elephant range states whose
populations are on CITES Appendix II was rejected by the Conference
of Parties. The failure by the international community to recognise that
elephant conservation and management comes at great cost in terms of
impacts on community livelihoods and protection of elephants from
poaching has the potential to undermine the sterling conservation efforts
by the southern African region. Botswana hosted the Kasane Elephant
Summit and committed to working with Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier
Conservation Area partner countries to identify sustainable solution to
the challenges present by our elephant population.
Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM)
121. Government acknowledges the importance of natural resources such as
wildlife to the wellbeing and livelihoods of communities living in rural
areas. This is the reason why the CBNRM program has been revitalized
for communities to improve their livelihoods, create job opportunities
and diversify local economies, while sustainably managing natural
resources. To this end, legislation is being drafted to provide a
framework within which Community Trusts operate, while keeping
regulatory requirements in check and also providing clarity on standards
122. Some of the bottlenecks that had been impeding the growth of the then
CBNRM programme, including moratoriums on export of dried fish and
the moratorium on tourism licenses in NG 41 & NG 19 have been lifted
in order to provide an opportunity for communities to invest in tourism
enterprises which will lead to employment creation, increased income
and investment in social projects within those communities.
123. Government continues to ensure that all stakeholders, especially NonGovernmental Organizations, are involved in environmental protection.
Government continues to use the National Environmental Fund (NEF) as
a grant to ensure sustainable stakeholder participation. Since its
establishment in 2010, the NEF has provided financial support to a total
of forty two (42) projects with a total of Thirty Four million, Five Hundred
and Eighty Two Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety One Pula (P34,
582,191). The NEF will continue to contribute positively to Government
efforts towards sustainable community livelihoods and conservation.
124. The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has since establishment
financed 23 National projects at a cost of Thirty Four Million, Eight
Hundred and Thirty Seven, One Hundred and Seventy US Dollars
(USD34, 837, 170) and One Hundred and Eighty Eight (188) community
projects through the Small Grant Program amounting to Five Million,
Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighteen
US Dollars (USD5, 338, 618). These funds were mainly used to pilot
environmental management best practices and community based
approaches to environmental governance in different thematic areas
such as Land Management, Climate Change and Bio-Diversity. Our
major successes have been on implementation of sustainable land
management, restoration of degraded land, climate smart agriculture
and livelihoods improvements in the Central, Chobe and Ngamiland
125. Botswana intends to replicate these successes across the country whilst
strategically utilising GEF resources to enhance CBNRM through a
capacity building programme for our communities to explore biodiversity economy to create employment. This will mainly be financed
from Seven Million, Three Hundred and Ten Thousand US Dollars (USD
7,310,000) already allocated to Botswana and Twenty Million, Eight
Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Two US Dollars
(USD20, 816,642) for regional projects.
Clean and Safe Environment
126. Treated effluent discharged from our waste treatment facilities into the
receiving environment remains a challenge as most of the wastewater
treatment plants generate effluent of poor quality that does not meet
acceptable discharge standards. Data generated from air pollution
monitoring stations on the other hand is generally of acceptable
127. As a way of ensuring environmental performance compliance, the
Government continues to conduct audits and inspections of pollution
generating entities, and indications from these monitoring activities
suggest that most of these activities are non-compliant to environmental
statutes and we are doing all we can to correct the situation.
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation
128. The pressure of demand for natural resources as inputs for
developmental initiatives is stretching ecosystems beyond their
regenerative abilities. Therefore, these resources require appropriate
management measures be implemented.
129. Government, in its effort to sustainably manage forest resources for
socio-economic and environmental benefits, has undertaken various
conservation initiatives. These include protection, restoration,
rehabilitation, maintenance, sustainable utilisation and enhancement of
the natural state.
130. Forest and range resources continue to play a significant role in rural
livelihoods and poverty reduction. During the current financial year the
sector has created Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Twelve (9 512)
jobs and accrued revenue amounting to Two Million, Eight Thousand,
One Hundred and Ninety One Pula (P2, 008, 191.00)
131. Government continues to drive alternative poverty eradication packages
namely, backyard tree nurseries, landscaping, phane harvesting, grass
harvesting and manufacturing of fire beaters, all of which are
implemented by communities in the rural areas.
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
132. The Climate Change Policy has been developed by Government and will
be tabled in the next Parliament for debate. Other policy instruments
and strategies intended to support the implementation of this policy are
currently undergoing development or review. These include the National
Energy Policy; the National Agricultural Development Policy; the Climate
Change Strategy and Action Plan and the National Transport Policy.
Additionally, a National Designated Authority and Energy Regulatory
Authority have been established, while a National Adaptation Framework
is being developed to guide the country in coordinating and
implementing approaches for adaptation planning, the Climate Smart
Agriculture (CSA) programme is being implemented with a specific focus
to increase resilient production systems and improve livelihoods amidst
133. Considering the global success of the Montreal Protocol on substances
that deplete the Ozone Layer, there is an agreement by countries to
reduce Hydroflorocarbons (HFCs) which are friendly to the Ozone layer
but still have a global warming potential as agreed under the Kigali
Agreement. Botswana will be ratifying the Amendment to ensure that
the country benefits from available support mechanisms.
Safe and Secure Use of Nuclear Technology
134. Mister Speaker, with regard to strengthening of public safety and
security in the country, Botswana has developed an Integrated Nuclear
Security Support Plan (INSSP) to ensure security of radioactive sources.
The plan was reviewed in March 2019, with the facilitation by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Furthermore, the
amendment of the current law to incorporate issues of nuclear security
is in progress. Other activities such as authorisations, inspections and
enforcements are undertaken to ensure compliance with regulatory
requirements and to provide assurance to the general public that safety
and security of sources is maintained.
135. Government continues to sustain the implementation of environmental
monitoring strategies aimed at managing public exposure to radiation
material. To ensure that the public, radiation workers and the
environment are protected from adverse effects of radiation exposure,
Government established a fully functional dosimetry and environmental
laboratories. Several environmental monitoring sites have also been
established countrywide and are indicating normal exposure levels.
Furthermore, collection and analysis of environmental samples and
foodstuffs in Serule and Gojwane areas, are ongoing in preparation for
the envisioned uranium mining and milling in the area.
PUBLIC BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE
Regulation of the Construction Industry
136. Mister Speaker, The transformation of the local construction industry
remains a priority to Government as it will not only improve performance
of the sector but will also encourage competitiveness in the industry.
The introduction of three regulatory bodies that cover the professions of
Engineering, Quantity Surveying and Architects is expected to bring
about professionalism and therefore improve service delivery in the
sector. To this end, registration of professionals is progressing well
under the three regulatory bodies.
137. Besides the registration of professionals in the construction industry,
Government continues to work on the legislation in an attempt to close
the gaps which may hinder the intended reform of the construction
sector. To this end, Government will review the Engineers Registration
Act and the Architects Registration Act in order to close the gaps which
have been identified so far during their implementation.
138. Mister Speaker, Government recognises access to housing as a basic
human need and essential to quality of life. In line with the objectives
of the National Policy on Housing of 2000, Government gives priority to
low income housing programme such as the Self Help Housing Agency,
commonly known as SHHA. This programme has played a very
important role in ensuring home ownership through what is now called
SHHA Turnkey and Home Improvement programme.
139. Decent housing leads to social upliftment and promotes good
livelihoods. Furthermore, Government continues to explore the use of
environmentally sustainable alternative building technologies and
promote partnerships for exchange of ideas on international and
national fronts such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the New
140. The Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation
(BITRI), through Nano fibre technology, has produced prototypes of
industrial surgical masks. These masks can be used in mines to prevent
inhalation of dust particles as well as in the health industry for protection
from viruses. The masks have passed the universal certification tests.
Pilot deployment has commenced and will be done at four (4) mines in
Botswana during this financial year. The organization has also developed
and completed a foot and mouth disease test kit and the kits are
currently being processed for commercialization.
141. The Botswana Innovation Hub has successfully completed two projects.
The first one is a solar-powered water purification plant installed in
Sojwe in the Kweneng District. The result of this intervention is that the
community now has access to potable water. The second is a carrierneutral data centre that creates data hosting and storage facilities by
the Botswana Innovation Hub. This has enhanced hosting capabilities
for BIH, innovators and other stakeholders. All the projects have been
executed in collaboration with the private sector and Government will,
through its institutions, continue to promote the growth of the national
innovation ecosystem in partnership with the private sector.
142. In response to the dictates of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the
desire to ensure that Batswana acquire skills that would enable them to
be active and productive participants in the digitised world, the
Botswana Open University (BOU) has established an academy in
partnership with Huawei Technologies Botswana. The academy is aimed
at delivering industry standard training leading to professional
certification for different Information Technology (IT) levels and
143. In order to give impetus to nurturing a culture of research and
innovation in Botswana, Government introduced the Botswana
Innovation Fund in 2017. The Fund avails grants to assist start-ups to
close innovation gaps in the development cycle. To date, twelve
companies owned by young Batswana innovators have been funded to
the tune of Thirteen Million Pula. This is a modest start as we need to
have more investment, especially from the private sector. We need to
have our own Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors who will
complement Government’s efforts in growing our research and
144. I am happy to say that some investors have already come on board to
support our research and innovation agenda. As indicated in my
Inauguration Speech, Liquid Telecom has partnered with the Botswana
Innovation Hub to train one thousand five hundred (1 500) youth in
coding or software development. I also indicated, that a country wide
internet access programme for students will see the development of
Edu-zones providing a dedicated platform that will drive research,
innovation and digital learning around the country. These initiatives
provide a strong foundation which we can build upon.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
The Use of ICT as a Platform for Learning
145. Mister Speaker, Government is in partnership with numerous
organisations to support school connections and installation of
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadgets in schools.
This includes the provision of Wi-Fi and upgrading of band-width to a
minimum of two megabytes per second (2Mbps) in schools as well as
teacher capacitation. Video streaming of lessons have been introduced
in three (3) secondary schools. The plan is to add another five (5)
schools in 2020 and an additional two (2) in 2021.
146. ICT Infrastructure Development which includes integrating ICT in
teaching and learning has been availed to all secondary schools; even
though it requires upgrading. About 41 percent of primary schools have
ICT infrastructure. In Ghanzi, Kgalagadi and Mabutsane, all primary
schools have been provided with internet, Local Area Network and ICT
officers. Plans are afoot to cover the whole of the Kweneng District in
the next financial year. However, there are bandwidth limitations across
all schools, hence the need to upgrade bandwidth to high speed internet.
Government is collaborating with the Botswana Communications
Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), the Botswana Fibre networks (BOFINET)
and other telecommunication service providers that assist schools in the
enhancement of ICT infrastructure and the provision of high speed
internet as well as ICT gadgets to promote the integration of ICT in
teaching and learning.
147. Twenty thousand (20 000) tablets and computers have been supplied to
four hundred and sixteen (416) Primary and Secondary Schools through
the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) and assistance from other
stakeholders such as Botswana Communication regulatory Authority and
the Universal Access and Service Fund (BOCRA-UASF), Orange
Botswana, Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), the Embassy
of Japan and the Embassy of the Republic of South Korea.
148. Mister Speaker, Digitization is an important mechanism to support
sustainability. In an effort to make learning flexible, convenient and
lifelong, the Botswana Accountancy College has introduced an online
learning platform to widen access to education by students in the field
of professional accountancy and in business management. Across the
country and the region, it is now possible for prospective students to
study professional accounting qualifications online.
149. In pursuit of promoting access to information, libraries have become
community resource centres for fostering lifelong-learning and
knowledge enhancement. In general the number of people who visit
libraries is about Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand (850, 000) annually.
A total of (Seventy Four) 74 out of One Hundred and Five (105) public
libraries offer public access to computers and internet services and over
Seventy Four Thousand (74,000) people have been trained on basic ICT
skills since the inception of the programme in 2009. All these positive
results demonstrate the potential that libraries have to champion efforts
towards driving the economy from a resource based to information and
knowledge based economy.
150. To date, sixteen (16) technology libraries have been constructed and
are fully operational under Government’s partnership with the Robert
and Sara Rothschild Family Foundation. The seventeenth library is under
construction at Masunga and it is scheduled to start operation by March
151. Mister Speaker, Botswana Post continues to play a vital role in the
delivery of ICT services through its increased service bouquet and
delivery channels. The recent development resulted in the introduction
of PosoMoney; an easy accessible, interoperable mobile money solution
that allows customers to conveniently access a wide range of financial
products and services. This service leverages on technology to address
the challenges faced by the unbanked and the under banked. It works
on any phone and any network.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector
152. Mister Speaker, there is no doubt, that the Government continues to
undertake various initiatives geared towards the promotion, uptake and
usage of reliable and affordable communication services across various
segments of the population. These initiatives are implemented through
both government funding and in collaboration with our partners in the
private sector, leveraging on the existing mechanisms such as the
Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF). The USAF has facilitated the
provision of services to areas that would otherwise be considered not
commercially viable by the network operators and service providers.
153. Mister Speaker, I am particularly delighted to inform you that these
initiatives have started to bear fruit. As at March 2019, the mobile
money subscription was standing at One Million, One Hundred and Forty
Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Three (1,149,673). This has
enabled people who would otherwise not have banking accounts, such
as domestic workers, the elderly and school going children, to have
access to banking services.
154. The upgrading of the telecommunication coverage in Mabutsane sub
district, Kgalagadi and Ghanzi District covering sixty eight (68) villages,
has enabled an estimated Seventy Thousand (70 000) citizens living in
these villages to have access to broadband services.
155. As result of the continued investment in rolling out broadcasting
infrastructure by Government and the installation of an integrated FM
transmitter system for use by commercial radio broadcasters covering
the areas of Hukuntsi, Tshane, Lokgwabe and Lehututu villages, more
than 70 percent of the population has access to commercial radio
stations. The continued call for the reduction in mobile broadband prices
has borne fruit as now all the mobile operators have equated their OffNet and On Net call charges thus reducing the cost on citizens.
156. Our continued efforts to reduce transit call costs by co-construction of
backhaul links projects with our neighbouring countries being Namibia
and South Africa, has led to an average reduction of 53 percent on the
wholesale of internet price in the last twelve months. Whilst this
reduction may have not yet trickled down to the consumers,
Government is working with concerned stakeholders to ensure that the
same benefit is transferred to customers.
The National Backbone Network
157. Mister Speaker, as I have already highlighted, Two Hundred and
Eleven (211) out of the four hundred (400) targeted localities are
connected to the national backbone broadband infrastructure. In
2020/2021, Zhutshwa, Maake, Monong, Ngwatle, Ncaang, Ukhwi, Kole,
Ncojane and Makunda will be connected through the microwave
backhaul radio technologies to bring the number to Two Hundred and
Twenty (220). The remaining villages will be connected by 2023.
158. My Government has made significant ICT investments through the
Botswana Fibre Networks (BOFINET). Today Botswana has in excess of
Ten Thousand (10 000km) Kilometres of optical fibre across the length
and breadth of our country.
159. BOFINET also offers video-on-demand on the Internet through optical
fibre. More is being done to increase fibre connectivity to our homes and
develop Data Centres that will host our data in-country. BOFINET
recently launched an optical fibre connectivity programme to our homes
initially targeting sixteen thousand (16,000) homes in Gaborone and it
is expected to be completed in 2020.
160. More than five thousand (5,000) businesses are already connected
through the optical fibre network. It is only through the optical fibre
infrastructure that we can meet the requirements of the Fourth
Industrial Revolution technologies such as Internet-of-Things, Artificial
Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data.
HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Botswana’s Human Capital and the Knowledge Based Economy
161. Mister Speaker, The development of a knowledge based economy is
dependent upon building synergies across the different sectors of our
economy. It is within this context that our education quality assurance
system will be closely aligned to those of professional bodies. In simple
terms, we are going to witness closer collaboration between the
Botswana Qualifications Authority and professional bodies like the
Botswana Health Professionals Council, the Engineers Registration Board
and the Architects Registration Council. This will go a long way towards
engendering quality and relevance of our education to the job market.
Most importantly, this endeavour will enhance the global
competitiveness of our citizens.
162. Mister Speaker, Due to the ever evolving needs and expectations by
the public on the nature and manner of how services should be
delivered, Government continues to look for ways and means that will
facilitate and enable public officers to deliver efficient and consistent
service to the nation. To ensure that this happens, Government has
developed a Productivity Improvement Blue Print to tackle the most
problematic areas of poor work ethic, inefficient government
bureaucracy, inadequately educated workforce, restrictive labour laws
and corruption. In addition, Government has developed an action plan
to respond to the challenges outlined in the 2018 Global Competitiveness
Report. The implementation of this action plan is ongoing.
163. Government is also in the process of formulating the Public Service
Human Resources Framework whose intention is to enable the Botswana
Public Service to manage their human resources effectively by providing
a linkage between human resource policies and procedures. This will
form the backbone which will enable the Public Service to anticipate
future service delivery needs and equip it to plan and cater for
addressing those needs in a seamless manner.
164. The Botswana Public Service College (BPSC) continues to deliver diverse
programmes that are targeted at closing competency gaps for Public
officers. This involves, amongst others the review of current
programmes as well as building effective collaborations. Rutgers, the
State University of New Jersey is one of the institutions which, through
its experience will assist the BPSC to enrich its programmes as well as
introduce the use of e-learning to reach an extensive client base.
165. Deliberate efforts are also being made to ensure the creation of a
succession pool through the development of a talent management and
succession planning framework. Furthermore, Government will progress
the implementation of a development based Assessment process as well
as assess the impact of programmes to respond to current needs. The
operationalization of the Botswana Public Service
Assessment/Development Centre (AC/DC) is at an advanced stage with
sourcing for key personnel and other logistical arrangements being done
to have the Centre piloted by April 2020.
166. Mister Speaker, Social dialogue remains the pillar of good industrial
relations in the country. To this end, there are Sixty (60) registered
Trade Unions, two Trade Union Federations and one Employers’
Organisation. The number of Trade Unions has gone down as a result
of the cancellation of three (3) Trade Unions in May 2019 due to noncompliance with the Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisations Act and
the dissolution of one (1) Trade Union.
167. Mister Speaker, Tripartite partners comprising representatives of
Government, employers and workers are finalising the Botswana Decent
Work Country Programme (BDWCP) for 2019–2023. Priorities for the
Programme are Employment creation, Social Dialogue, Social Protection
and Compliance with International Standards.
168. Government in collaboration with representatives of employers and
workers continues to make progress in the review of labour laws in order
to close the gaps in the laws and align them with the provisions of the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions that have been
ratified by Botswana. The consultation process in this regard has
resulted in the adoption of the revised list of essential services which is
deemed to be in compliance with ILO Convention No. 87.
169. All these underline the commitment of the Government to promote
workers’ rights and doing business. It is critical that the outcome of
the consultation process in this regard should be in the best interest of
Botswana. Consequently, the implementation of the outcome of this
process requires full consultation between the relevant Ministry and all
170. As Botswana continues to strive for decent work, minimum wage rates
were increased by 17 percent for all sectors with the exception of
Agriculture and Domestic sectors which were increased to One
Thousand Pula (P1000) per month with effect from the 1st July 2019.
171. To foster and strengthen work place Occupational Health and Safety
compliance, it has become necessary that the Factories and Workers
Compensation Acts be reviewed in line with international standards. The
review of the laws is expected to help reduce accidents and occupational
diseases affecting the workforce which have a negative impact on
compensation claims. Furthermore, a draft Occupational Health and
Safety Policy has been developed. The review of the Acts and
finalisation of the Policy are expected to be completed in this financial
172. To maintain good industrial relations in the country, Government has
committed to strengthening the Labour Inspection function. The
strengthening of the function seeks to promote social dialogue at the
workplace which in turn would reduce the number of trade disputes
referred for mediation. A Labour Inspection Policy is being developed to
provide a framework for the function. The Development of the Policy is
expected to be completed in December 2019.
173. Government is determined to improve its relationship with Public Sector
Unions, and it is working towards the resuscitation of the Public Service
Bargaining Council (PSBC), which collapsed in 2017 due to
misunderstandings between both parties. The PSBC remains the legal
platform through which issues of employment relations ought to be
negotiated and agreed upon, thereby promoting a harmonious
relationship between the Government as the employer and employee
organisations. It therefore calls for each concerned party to commit to
the Council’s resuscitation.
174. Mister Speaker, Government is committed to building constructive
employer/employee relations and transforming Botswana into a high
performing nation that leverages on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to
improve public service delivery and citizen participation to fast track
employment generation and socio economic development.
175. In our pursuit of Public Service efficiency and effectiveness, Government
and Public Service Unions, as partners, have been working hard to foster
good employee relations in the Public Service. So far, some notable
milestones have been achieved, which include the successful conclusion
of salary negotiations between Government and Public Service Unions,
176. In August 2019, Government and Public Service Unions concluded a
monumental agreement on PEMANDU and other conditions of service
for Public Service employees. Some of the key issues that the parties
were able to agree on are; Remuneration Policy for the Public Service,
the Development of a Fan shaped salary structure, the increase of
Medical Aid Contributions by Government for employees on salary
Grades A and B, as well as an increase of the monthly Salaries of Public
Service employees on grades A to D.
177. Government is currently working on the development of a Public Service
remuneration policy, the development of a new salary structure with an
inter grade differential to facilitate pay for performance and reduce
178. Furthermore, in October 2019, my Government took a decision on the
re-employment of former Public Service employees who were dismissed
as a direct result of having participated in the Public Service National
industrial strike of 2011. So far two hundred and twenty nine (229)
former employees have submitted requests for reemployment.
179. It is also worth noting Mister Speaker that following the completion of
work by the Commission led by Honourable Justice Monametsi,
Government has adopted most of the recommendations by the
Commission to improve the conditions of service for the Members of
Parliament, Councillors, Ntlo Ya Dikgosi and the Judiciary.
180. Mister Speaker, although some milestones have been achieved, there
is still more that needs to be done. The focus now should be on the
critical outstanding issues relating to the resuscitation of the Public
Service Bargaining Council and the Review of Labour Laws. I wish to
urge relevant parties to speed up the process of concluding this
181. That notwithstanding, Government and recognized Public Service Trade
Unions successfully negotiated salary adjustments for the financial years
2019/20 and 2020/21 in February 2019. Government shall continue to
promote the relationship with the Public Sector Unions to ensure that
any animosity between the two parties is permanently dealt with.
182. Employee Safety at the workplace continues to be a challenge, and
therefore, the Government through its structures, is committed to
reducing work related injuries and diseases at all cost. The Safety Health
and Environment Unit at the Directorate of Public Service Management
was established solely to ensure safety at the workplace and to drive
the program across Government.
SPORT AND CULTURE DEVELOPMENT
183. As part of Government’s initiative to promote Botswana as a destination
of choice for major conferences and international events, Botswana
hosted two major sporting events, being the African Union Sports
Council Region 5 Youth Games and the Africa Karate Championships.
Botswana will strive to host more international sporting events not only
to attract foreign direct investment, but also to develop the capacity of
our people and create jobs. In addition to hosting, our National teams
continue to achieve encouraging results with a total of Two Hundred and
Thirty Two (232) medals won, Eighty One (81) of which are gold, in
international sporting events over the last twelve months.
184. Government continues to develop sport infrastructure across the country
to promote participation in sports and recreation. A project aimed at
providing basic sporting facilities to the rural and semi-urban
communities where there is shortage of such facilities is currently
underway. The project is being implemented in the following localities;
Bobonong, Goodhope, Kanye, Kasane, Mmadinare, Moshupa, Rakops,
Tonota, Tsabong and Tutume. Over Fifty million Pula (P50 million) has
been allocated for the ten (10) projects, and it is expected that during
construction jobs will be created in all the localities.
Cultural and Creative Industries
185. In recognition of the talent of our people and the potential of the cultural
and creative industries to create jobs, my Government has initiated
processes to improve legislation and policy frameworks for the sector.
This includes the review of the Cinematography Act, the development of
the National Arts Council Act and the accession to the UNESCO 2005
Convention on the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
186. Mister Speaker, the development of facilities and improvement of
business for the aviation industry is expected to contribute immensely
towards the growth of tourism, mining as well as various business and
trade opportunities; which will subsequently contribute to the growth of
the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
187. Government will continue to develop our transport infrastructure in
order to attract investors and tourists. Considering the importance of
Maun in the growth of tourism, efforts to decongest its airport terminal
are underway. A decongestion Terminal project was started in April
2019. This project is anticipated to be completed within twelve (12)
188. The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) in partnership with SEZA
will also develop the landside at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport
as a way to maximize the non-aeronautical revenue space. The idea
behind this partnership is to create value from the Sir Seretse Khama
International Airport landside, which is approximately Five Hundred and
Seventy Three hectares (573Ha) and further achieve the expectations
of the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) Act of 2011 of
becoming financially viable.
The Open Skies Policy
189. Mister Speaker Botswana, upon the implementation of the Open skies
policy, will add significantly to the growth of the Aviation Industry. A
total of six main airports are operational in Botswana in addition to
twenty (20) secondary airfields designed for the operation of aircraft to
a maximum all up weight (MAUW) of Five Thousand, Seven Hundred
kilograms (5700kg). The overall connectivity of Botswana to the African
region is mainly driven through the four major airports being; the Sir
Seretse Khama International Airport, the Maun International Airport, the
Kasane International Airport and the Phillip Matante International Airport
190. Scheduled international movements are offered by five carriers, which
are Air Botswana, Air Namibia, Ethiopian Airlines, SA Airlink and South
African Express. These airlines offer direct connections between
Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Ethiopia. The new scheduled
services will expand our connectivity to three more destinations being;
Victoria Falls, Harare and Lusaka. Qatar Airways will add to the operators
by starting to fly into the country in mid-December 2019.
191. Furthermore, Air Botswana will also commence operations to Harare and
Lusaka, exercising fifth Freedom traffic rights between Lusaka and
Harare. Over and above these, another airline, Mack Airline, has been
licensed by CAAB to carry out scheduled services between Maun and
Windhoek and between Kasane and Victoria Falls. The operation is
anticipated to commence during the last quarter of this financial year.
192. Air Botswana with the assistance of Government, procured three of the
four aircraft it needs to effectively operate and deliver on its mandate,
as per its current 2016-2021 turnaround strategy. The three aircraft,
namely the two ATR72-600 and the Embraer E170 jet have been
integrated into operation. The airline is still awaiting the Foreign
Operators Permit (FOP) from the Governments of South Africa,
Zimbabwe and Zambia to facilitate jet operation.
193. Mister Speaker, Road infrastructure development remains a
fundamental aspect of sustainable economic growth and thus
Government will continue to view it as one of the country’s priority areas.
194. During the 2019/20 financial year, a number of construction projects
have commenced, and are at various stages of completion. One of the
most significant is the Kazungula Bridge Project – a bilateral project
between Botswana and Zambia which includes the development of a
One Stop Border Post (OSBP) facility straddling the bridge.
195. Other projects and their expected completion dates are; the Mohembo
Bridge Project due for completion in October 2020 according to the
revised programme, the upgrading of the Gaborone-Boatle twenty
kilometre (20km) dual carriage way due for completion in February
2020, the Dibete-Mookane-Machaneng One Hundred and Thirty Two
Kilometre (132km) road due for completion in August 2020, the
Tshesebe-Masunga fifty one kilometre (51km) road due for completion
in August 2021, the Charleshill-Ncojane One Hundred and Nine kilometre
(109km) road due for completion in April 2020, the Mabeleapudi-Serule,
Sixty One and a half kilometre (61.5km) road due for completion in July
2020, and the Mosu-Tlhalamabele twenty eight kilometre (28km) road
due for completion in July 2020.
196. Other construction works being implemented under the Output and
Performance-based Road Contracts along the A10 and A2 roads, are the
Mmankgodi Junction-Kanye-Jwaneng and the B101 road RakhunaTlhareseleele-Pitsane-Phitshane Molopo-Mabule road which is due for
completion in December 2019.
197. Mister Speaker, following the agreement between the Government of
Botswana and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, a
Feasibility study is being conducted for the reconstruction of the
dilapidated Nata-Maun road. This will pave the way for the upgrading of
the road, which is planned for in the next financial year.
198. Government will also design and reconstruct the A3 road from
Francistown to Nata and Maun-Mohembo, some sections of the NataKazungula road and the Palapye-Martin’s Drift road. The A3 road plays
an important role in linking Botswana with Central Africa as we anticipate
the increase in freight transport upon the completion of the Kazungula
199. Mister Speaker, Government is aware of the status of some of the
roads in the country which require urgent attention with regard to
maintenance interventions. Government intends to ensure that these
roads become acceptable for use.
200. Road sections that have been completed through periodic maintenance
during the 2018/19 financial year are: the Sehithwa-Kuke Eighty Six
kilometre (86km) Road, the Gantsi Junction-Tsootsha Road Section A,
Forty kilometre (40km) road, the Artesia-Dibete Forty Seven (47km)
Road, the Makalamabedi-Maun, Sixty One kilometre (61km) Road, the
A3 Mathangwane Road section, the A2 Junction 44-Mmamuno Road,
and the Molepolole-Lephephe Ninety Four kilometre (94km) road.
201. Mister Speaker, road safety remains a public safety challenge as
witnessed by the number of lives lost on our roads. Collaborative efforts
with all relevant stakeholders in reducing road traffic accidents that
result in fatal and serious injuries are being pursued. To this end, the
Botswana Police Service, the Roads Department and the Health Services
sector will continue to take a leading role in reducing the number of
accidents on our roads.
Botswana Integrated Transport Project (BITP)
202. Mister Speaker, The supply and installation of equipment for the New
Greater Gaborone Traffic Signals System Modernization and Provision of
a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) project, was launched in August 2019
and onsite installation is currently in progress. This project will
modernise the traffic signals system in Greater Gaborone to be
responsive to peak and off-peak traffic changes. It will also be centrally
controlled, resulting in overall improvement in traffic flow. The
construction of three (3) Interchanges along the K T Motsete Drive
(“Western Bypass”) was launched in October 2019 and site clearance
works commenced this past Friday, on 15 November 2019.
203. Meanwhile, the design for Layout Improvements of Selected
Intersections associated with the new Traffic Signals system is underway
(due for completion by March 2020) and construction is expected to
commence in the coming financial year. Under the Botswana Integrated
Transport Project, Government will also complete the National Multimodal Transport Master Plan and the Greater Gaborone Transport
Master Plan, during the coming financial year. These will guide future
transport development nationally and within the Greater Gaborone
204. Mister Speaker, Botswana Railways has identified key infrastructural
projects which need to be undertaken during NDP 11. These projects
will promote economic diversification and international trade. Amongst
these projects are conducting the feasibility of the Mmamabula –
Lephalale Rail Line. The proposed new rail link would start at
Mmamabula Coal Fields and end at Lephalale, where it will connect with
the South African railway network.
205. The other project by Botswana Railways is to carry out a feasibility study
for an estimated Three Hundred and Sixty Seven kilometre (367 km)
railway line from Mosetse to Kazungula. The Mosetse – Kazungula
Railway Line will link the Botswana and Zambian rail network creating a
direct north-south corridor from Botswana through to the Republic of
The Commuter Train Service
206. Mister Speaker, Government intends to reduce traffic congestion and
road accidents particularly in the greater Gaborone area. In order to
realise this, the Botswana Railways has introduced a commuter service
train from Lobatse to Gaborone. This service is currently using mainline
locomotives and coaches which are expensive to maintain. Therefore,
Government is considering introducing Diesel Multiple Units (DMU’s)
which are fit for purpose, to run this service. As soon as the DMUs are
purchased, the Commuter Train Service will also be extended to areas
between Pilane and Gaborone and will include stops such as Morwa,
Mmamashia, Phakalane and Sebele.
Land Use Planning and Management
207. Mister Speaker, Government has identified land use as a critical factor
in the development of the economy and empowerment of citizens of this
country. As one of the facilitative initiatives for improved land use
planning, Government approved the National Spatial Plan (NSP) in June
2019. The NSP is a framework that provides guidance for planning future
development and investment in the country. This plan is currently in the
process of being mainstreamed into other processes, such as the
national development planning process, in order to facilitate optimal
developmental outcomes for Botswana.
208. In an endeavour to create vibrant urban centres with capabilities to
unlock opportunities for development and the promotion of innovative
economic activities, Government has prepared revitalization plans for
strategic areas in Francistown, Lobatse, Selebi Phikwe, Kasane and
Kazungula. These plans once fully adopted and implemented, will play a
pivotal role in leading the transformation and revitalisation of these
towns and cities, making them more attractive to investors.
209. Government has significantly invested in the land registration system
and improvements on land administration, through the Land
Administration Procedures Capacity and Systems (LAPCAS) project. This
project was conceived with a view to develop efficient, effective and
transparent land administration by devising a system through which all
land rights in the country would be surveyed and registered.
210. Mister Speaker, the Government of Botswana remains committed to
the provision of potable water and sanitation services. Several
governance and legislative instruments geared towards the provision of
clean water and safely managed sanitation, are currently being
developed. In support of this endeavour, the 1968 Water Act and its
related pieces of legislation, are being reviewed.
National Water Security
211. Mister Speaker, the total water demand currently stands at two
hundred and forty - five million cubic meters (245Mm3
). The demand is
expected to increase to three hundred and forty million cubic meters
) by 2035. The main water sources are surface water,
groundwater and wastewater reuse. The water supply status is at two
hundred and twenty-five Million Cubic Metre (225Mm3.)
212. Botswana is consistently experiencing hydrological droughts that lead to
challenges in water security. Climate change uncertainty calls for the
need to put in place a water security strategy. The strategy would
include water conservation, reclamation and recycling, groundwater
exploration; wellfields expansion and mega-transfer schemes such as
Chobe-Zambezi, Lesotho Highlands and the utilization of sea water from
the Atlantic Ocean are the potential sources for water security. At
present there are a number of water and sanitation infrastructure
development projects that are being implemented. These are network
rehabilitation; upgrade and refurbishment of systems; and water
conveyance pipelines from already existing resources to demand areas.
213. The optimisation of the North South Water Carrier was completed in
June 2019. The objective of the project was to improve water supply for
the Greater Gaborone area by increasing the water flows to the
Mmamashia Water Treatment Plant from seven hundred (700) litters per
second to a minimum of one thousand (1000) litters per second and a
maximum of one thousand, three hundred and fifty (1350) litters per
second. Currently the pump station is delivering one thousand, two
hundred (1200) litters per second.
214. Efforts towards wastewater reuse are done through the rehabilitation of
the Glen Valley Treatment Plant and the Glen Valley Reclamation
projects. The rehabilitation of the Glen Valley Wastewater Treatment
Plant is to ensure compliance of treated sewage with the requirements
for reclamation. The project will bring back the Glen Valley Wastewater
Treatment Plant to a treatment capacity of ninety million litres per day
(90Ml/day). The Rehabilitation project commenced in May 2019 and is
to be completed by April 2020. Meanwhile the Glen Valley Water
Reclamation is at feasibility stage. The project is intended to reclaim
sixty (60) million litres a day to augment water supply in the greater
215. Sustainable groundwater supply capacity stands at ninety six million
cubic metres (96Mm3
) but presently the amount of groundwater use is
twenty eight million cubic metres (28Mm3
), which is approximately 30
percent of sustainable supply capacity. Efforts to optimize the utilization
of groundwater resources are done through projects such as the
construction of the one hundred kilometres (100km) pipeline from
Masama Wellfields to Mmamashia, which is meant to increase water
supply to the Southern part of Botswana by sixty four million litres per
day (64Ml/day). The project is intended to mitigate the existing deficit
in the greater Gaborone area, and address the imminent severe supply
deficit following the connection of Thamaga, Moshupa and Kanye to the
North South Carrier.
Regulation of the Energy Industry
216. Mister Speaker, Government continues to undertake organizational
reforms to align its mandate to promote economic inclusion and green
technology. Government is currently reviewing and developing
appropriate regulations to create an enabling environment for wealth
creation in the energy sector. In this regard Government is reviewing
the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Act and Draft
Regulations, the Draft Petroleum Products Bill as well as the Gas Bill to
regulate and facilitate the private sector.
217. Therefore the coming into operation of such an Act will provide for the
manufacturing, supply, storage, distribution retail and use of the
petroleum products. The Act will also facilitate the operation of
Botswana Oil Limited. The existence of the Act will provide for the
development and operation of upstream and downstream activities such
as exploration, production, supply, storage, distribution, retail and the
use of gas products.
218. BERA continues to monitor the activities, conduct and compliance of
industry players to ensure that there is increased economic contribution
in the trading of petroleum products. As a result of the effective
monitoring, the Regulator has confiscated about Three Hundred and Ten
Thousand (310 000) litres of fuel worth Two Million, Nine Hundred and
Forty Five thousand Pula (P2.945 million).
Security of Supply of Petroleum Products
219. Mister Speaker, to further ensure national security of fuel supply, the
Government is developing additional strategic fuel storage facilities
through Botswana Oil Limited (BOL). These are the one hundred and
Eighty Six (186) million litres Tshele Hills storage to be implemented
through Public Private Partnership (PPP). The project is at the inception
stage and will pave way for the procurement of the developer.
220. In promoting access to petroleum products in remote areas, which are
traditionally not serviced by the International Oil Companies (IOCs),
Botswana Oil is working on introducing Remote Area Energy Centres
(RAECs) which are effectively small containerized mobile filling stations
that are aimed at promoting access to petroleum products in remote
The Solar Energy Programme
221. Mister Speaker, Solar Energy is going to be promoted vigorously so
that it becomes a significant contributor to the energy sector.
Government is also developing Solar Guidelines to enable Batswana to
generate electricity for their own use while selling any excess to the
Botswana Power Corporation up to a limit that will be defined by the
Regulator. These guidelines, are envisaged to be completed by the end
of this financial year. This will help to diversify power generation away
from dependence on thermal generation and further economically
Electricity Generation, Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure
222. Mister Speaker, the main power infrastructure development projects
being undertaken by Government through the Botswana Power
Corporation (BPC) include the refurbishment of Morupule A, a One
Hundred and Thirty Two Megawatt (132MW) Power Station, Morupule
B, a Six Hundred Megawatt (600MW) Power Station, defects
remediation, extension, reinforcement and refurbishment of the
transmission and distribution network as well as the electrification of
223. Significant progress is being made to achieve self-sufficiency in power
generation with the return to service of the Morupule A Power Station
before the end of this financial year.
224. The Morupule B defects remediation project which is meant to address
the ensuing plant performance challenges, is now at the implementation
stage with the remedial works having commenced on the first Unit in
June 2019. All construction and equipment defects which are impacting
on the Morupule B plant viability, should be addressed in the next four
(4) years. This plant will thereafter be expected to operate reliably,
generating Six Hundred Megawatts (600MW) of power. A study to
determine future generation requirements beyond 2024 is underway
and is expected to be completed before the end of this financial year.
225. Mister Speaker, the North West Transmission Grid extension project
is at an advanced stage, with the grid switch on scheduled for the end
of March 2020. This project will stimulate mining activities in the North
226. Another initiative being the Rural Electrification Project, is currently
ongoing. As at October 2019, sixty (60) villages have been completed
from the planned one hundred and fifteen (115) villages. The ongoing
electrification of villages provides access to clean energy to rural
communities, which is fundamental for socio economic development and
227. Mister Speaker, a combination of factors have contributed to
widespread uncertainty and a global downturn in the diamond industry
during the first half of 2019. Economic uncertainty generated by an
unstable geopolitical climate has also fostered a heightened sense of
caution among the banks that finance the trade, as well as diamond
brokers and consumers of luxury goods.
228. The execution of the Jwaneng Mine Cut 9 commenced in April 2019 and
will extend the life of the mine from 2028 to 2035. The project is
envisaged to employ One Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Three
(1153) people at peak production, of which 98 percent will be citizens.
The Jwaneng Cut 9 project will bring about benefits including the
establishment of a Mining Equipment Component Rebuild Centre in
Botswana. The Debswana Mining Company is also planning to reopen
the Apprentice and Artisan Training Centre. The Company aims to
develop citizen suppliers in key areas of the diamond value chain.
Jwaneng mine currently employs Four Thousand, seven Hundred and
Fifty Six (4756) people of which Four Thousand, Six Hundred and
Seventy One (4671) or 98.2 percent are citizens.
229. The Letlhakane Mine Tailings Treatment project started in 2016 and the
Company is doing a feasibility study to evaluate options of going
underground. Lucara Botswana is doing a feasibility study at the Karowe
mine with a strategic plan to go underground in 2023 to increase the life
span of the mine to 2041. Karowe Mine currently employs Eight Hundred
and Sixty Two (862) people of which Eight Hundred and Fifty (850) or
98.6 percent are citizens.
230. Khoemacau Copper Mining, in the North West has started the
construction of the boxcuts at Zone 5 mining concession with
anticipation to start concentrate exportation during the first quarter of
2021. Three boxcuts whose ground breaking ceremony was performed
in June 2019 are being constructed. The Construction of the haul road
from Zone 5 to the Bosetu plant in Toteng has commenced and will be
used to transport ore from the mine to the plant. The mine currently
employs Eight Hundred and Fourteen (814) people of which Seven
Hundred and Eighty One (781) or 95.9 percent are citizens.
231. Minergy Coal has completed the boxcut and exposed the coal and the
plant is operational and the mine has started to export coal to the
Republic of South Africa. Ghaghoo Mine in the Central Kgalagadi Game
Reserve which has been under the Care and Maintenance of a liquidator
since the first quarter of 2017 has found an investor who is considering
its acquisition. The mine currently employs ninety five (95) people of
whom ninety four (94) or 98.9 percent are citizens.
Bamangwato Concessions Limited (BCL)
232. Mister Speaker, the Task team setup to carry out an evaluation to
delineate the BCL assets completed their work at the end of June 2019.
The report from the Task Team was submitted to the new liquidators to
consider the findings and facilitate decision making on the next stage.
Since taking over the liquidation process in August this year, the new
Liquidator has given seven (7) companies permission to carryout due
diligence reviews on the BCL and Tati Mining assets, to inform
themselves if they can invest in the assets. Government continues to
support the liquidation process by funding care and maintenance costs
to preserve the assets while investors are still doing their due diligence.
It must be appreciated that this is a delicate and complex exercise that
will take time to evaluate and implement.
Diamonds Industry Performance
233. The global diamond industry in the first half of 2019 has faced a variety
of challenges leading to widespread uncertainty and declining commerce
across all segments of the diamond value chain. Sales for the first seven
(7) months of 2019 were Two billion, Two Hundred million US Dollars
(2.2 billion USD) as compared to Two billion, Eight Hundred million US
Dollars (2.8 billion USD) during the same period last year, signifying a
reduction in sales of 21 percent. Over the first seven (7) months of 2019,
an array of interrelated developments across the entire value chain have
exerted pressure on Botswana’s diamond production and sales. One of
the key drivers of the first-half slowdown was the over stocking of
polished diamonds by the retailer thus reducing the demand for rough
234. Despite the prevailing challenges in the sector, Botswana remained the
single largest contributor to the increase in the value of the world's
diamond production in 2018, as we increased our output by Six (6)
percent to twenty four point four (24.4) million carats while the average
price earned for our rough diamonds remained steady at, One Hundred
and forty five US Dollars per carat ($145/ct).
235. Government has developed a diamond beneficiation strategy in order to
enable citizen participation in the diamond value chain. Among other
things, the strategy is expected to equip citizens with appropriate
industry skills, general management and leadership skills as well as
incubation of citizen businesses.
Democracy and Good Governance
236. Mister Speaker, Botswana remains committed to uphold the shared
values of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and the respect
for human rights. These universal ideals are, undoubtedly, the
foundation for any sustainable development, peace, unity and
prosperity, of which my Government is steadfast in their preservation
237. As I stated in my Inaugural Speech recently my Government intends to
conduct a comprehensive review of the Constitution of Botswana. This
critical exercise, aims to remove any provisions that may be deemed
discriminatory as well as strengthen the functions of oversight
institutions thus improving Botswana’s functional democracy. The
envisaged review will be conducted in accordance with one of our
fundamental national principles of consultation for inclusiveness.
238. The adoption of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Bill by the 11th
Parliament, in August this year, is a commendable milestone in our
resolve as a nation to intensify our efforts to fight corruption. It also
demonstrates my Government’s commitment to fulfil our international
obligations contained in multilateral instruments such as the United
Nations Convention Against Corruption. The establishment of the Ethics
and Integrity Directorate, which will be responsible for administering the
law on the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities as well as conflict of
interest, is currently underway. The Office is expected to be operational
by December 2019.
239. We are enhancing the transparency and maturity of our democracy
through the reinforcement of the foundations of good governance. The
constitutional review and the strengthening of the functions of oversight
institutions as well as declarations of assets and liabilities are measures
that ensure that justice is not just done, but seen to be done. These
measures will speak to the conviction that upholding of the rule of law
is sacrosanct and not negotiable. We are taking these steps to entrench
the ideal that no one is above the law.
240. When our forebears laid these foundations, they bestowed upon us the
legacy of continuity through the fortification of the pillars of our
democracy so that they can stand the test of time. We are steadfast in
the determination to ensure that Botswana remains clean of
contaminants that can steer us away from the path of democracy and
good governance that we so proudly inherited from our forefathers.
241. In February this year, Botswana acceded to the Africa Peer Review
Mechanism (APRM), whose overarching objective is to promote political
and economic governance with a view to achieve political stability,
accelerated continental integration as well as sustainable development.
Botswana’s membership to this Continental self-assessment mechanism
will further enrich her strong democratic culture.
242. In an effort to bring services closer to the public, as well as increasing
accessibility, the Office of the Ombudsman has decentralised its services
which are now available in Gaborone, Francistown, Maun and more
recently Tsabong. The Tsabong office is at the initial stage of operation
whilst the other three are fully functional.
Public Sector Reforms
243. Mister Speaker, in order to improve public service efficiency, my
Government has embarked upon a rationalization exercise of ministerial
portfolio responsibilities and functions. To this end, Government is
considering the rationalisation of Government Ministries to improve
service delivery, eliminating any duplication and overlaps of
responsibilities across sectors, closing any existing structural gaps as
well as identifying obsolete functions. Moreover, Government will
consider a re-labelling exercise of Government Ministries to make their
names, easy, relevant and more meaningful to people.
244. The National Transformation Strategy is key to the turnaround of
Botswana’s economic fortunes. In this regard, the National
Transformation Task Team’s functions will be aligned with the National
Vision 2036 Council for delivering our national objectives. The alignment
will encompass our local government structures as well as Village
Development Committees, thereby enabling ownership and
responsibility to deliver on our National Vision to Batswana.
The National Monitoring and Evaluation System
245. Botswana continues to strengthen public sector management
implementation of the National Monitoring and Evaluation System
(NMES). The main purpose of this System is to promote the use of
performance information for evidence-based policy and decision making
to improve public sector performance. The ongoing Mid-Term Review
process of NDP 11 provides an opportunity for Thematic Working Groups
(TWGs) to use the indicators and their targets, as contained in the NDP
11 Performance Framework, to objectively review the implementation of
246. Mister Speaker, The Ombudsman Act of 1995 is currently being
amended to broaden its mandate by conferring on it the responsibility
to protect and promote human rights. In that respect, the new law shall
give the Office of the Ombudsman enough powers to effectively execute
247. In the last financial year the office recorded a high reduction of backlog
cases as it attained a 91.8 percent backlog resolution rate. The
achievement was made possible by closer engagement of the
Ombudsman with Accounting Officers to deepen understanding of the
process of complaint resolution. Furthermore, the formalisation of the
preparation of annual case lists to Government has had a positive impact
on the case resolution rate.
248. In 2018, Parliament enacted a total of Twenty Five (25) Acts in order to
comply with FATF Recommendations on the prevention and control of
the laundering of the proceeds of crime, the financing of terrorism and
the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The
Twenty five (25) Acts referred to have similarly met the Sustainable
Development Goal 16 on Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies. The
targets for SDG 16 include significant reduction of illicit financial and
arms flows; to strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and
to combat all forms of organized crime; to reduce corruption and bribery
in all their forms; and to develop effective, accountable and transparent
institutions at all levels by preventing violence and combatting terrorism
249. In this respect, in October 2018, Botswana made a request for the rerating of the twenty five (25) Anti Money Laundering and Combating
Financing of Terrorism legislation enacted in 2018 for its compliance with
the FATF standards. The re-rating of Botswana laws was undertaken by
ESAAMLG at their 37th Meeting of Senior Officials held in Tanzania on
April 2019. The outcome of the request was that, of thirty eight (38)
FATF Recommendations requested for re-rating, only thirty two (32)
250. In order to ensure full compliance of Botswana’s laws with FATF
standards, the Financial Intelligence Act, the Trust Property Act, the
Counter-Terrorism Regulations and the Financial Intelligence
Regulations are being amended to close the gaps identified during the
re-rating of Botswana’s laws. Botswana will submit a second request for
re-rating for consideration by ESAAMLG at their April 2020 meeting.
Access to Justice and the Rule of Law
251. Mister Speaker, the core mandate of the Judiciary is to interpret the
law and resolve disputes. The focus and priority this year is on
restructuring the Judiciary to make it more relevant and responsive to
the emerging trends of the 21st century. A major milestone in the judicial
history of this country is that, the Judiciary has been fully localized. As
a result, the judicial interpretation of the laws is relevant to the customs
and norms of the nation.
252. Mister Speaker, Government has established a Corruption Court to
deal solely with all forms of corruption. This is also intended to enhance
the disposal of these cases which tend to take long to prosecute. The
Court will be rolled out to other High Court divisions since it has been
operating at only one High Court.
Office of the Receiver
253. Mister Speaker, the Office of the Receiver was established by the
Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA), with a mandate to seize,
manage and preserve the value of property in its possession until the
Court decides how the property should be dealt with. As at July 2019,
the Receiver had been served with twenty-one (21) Court Orders
directing him to take over the management of immovable and movable
property including residential and industrial plots, vehicles, furniture,
farms, cattle and cash.
254. Mister Speaker, As of October 2019, there were two thousand nine
hundred and ninety nine (2999) refugees in Botswana. This number has
significantly declined as seven hundred and seventy (770) Namibian
nationals whose refugee status in Botswana had ceased, were
successfully and cordially returned to Namibia. This exercise was
conducted under the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) guidance and supervision.
The Botswana Defence Force
255. Mister Speaker, a strong and prosperous Botswana is premised on the
assurance of national security. Botswana as an independent and
sovereign state has to ensure the security of its people and its territorial
integrity. To this effect, the Botswana Defence Force is being recapacitated to effectively carry out its mandate.
256. Beyond national defence and our frontiers, Botswana as a responsible
member of the international community has obligations through
organizations such as the United Nations, the African Union and
Southern African Development Community to contribute to the
maintenance of international peace and security. For this reason, the
BDF is undergoing relevant restructuring and training to enable it to take
part in peacekeeping and other security operations.
The Botswana Police Service
257. In the quest to ensure public safety and protection the Botswana Police
Service has actively adopted Community Policing Strategy, which allows
the police and the community to work closely to combat crime, with
notable success. The determination of the Police Service to reduce crime
has enhanced public confidence in the police locally, and placed
Botswana as a country in good standing in the international arena.
258. The Police Service investigation capacity has also been enhanced to
appropriately deal with drug and human trafficking, fraud, money
laundering and cyber - attacks through the establishment of
International Relations and Cyber Forensics Departments.
Prisons and Rehabilitation
259. Mister Speaker, the daily average population in Prisons is 7.6
percent below the authorized holding capacity due to a reduction in the
number of offenders incarcerated and successful rehabilitation
programmes. This effort will be complemented by finalization of a
National Prisoner Rehabilitation Policy in 2020.
260. Mister Speaker, as I stated in my last State of the Nation address,
Botswana continues to nurture friendly relations with other countries
and forge strategic partnerships with the international community for
her benefit and the greater good of humanity. In this context, I am
pleased to note that in the last year, relations between Botswana and
other countries, as well as international organisations, has continued to
mature and assume a more strategic significance.
261. This has been evidently illustrated by the number of high level
exchanges undertaken with other countries, bilateral engagements at
various levels of Government, people to people interactions, the number
of international conferences we hosted and the leadership roles we
assumed in regional as well as international organisations.
262. As you may be aware, in terms of engagements, I had the honour to
undertake State Visits to the Republic of Kenya and Qatar during this
period, while I also had the pleasure to host high level visits by the
Heads of State of the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Namibia.
I further undertook working visits to the United States of America,
Poland, Switzerland, and South Africa.
263. Regionally, I have engaged extensively with my counterparts through
structured bilateral mechanisms, such as the Bi-National Commissions
(BNC). We thus held a Bi-National Commission with Zimbabwe in
February 2019. I also participated at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the
Assembly of Heads of State and Government Summit held in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia in February, this year.
264. I note with satisfaction that in recognition of Botswana’s commitment
towards the regional agenda, she was assigned the following leadership
roles in the international system;
265. At the last SADC Summit held in Tanzania in August this year, Botswana
was elected to Chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and
Security Cooperation, a tenure that will commence in August 2020
until August 2021. This means the region has bestowed a huge
responsibility and honour on Botswana, to spearhead the regional peace
266. Botswana also holds membership in the following critical Committees at
both the United Nations and the African Union, the United Nations
Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Committee of
Conferences, the United Nations Committee on Programmes and
Coordination as well as the African Unions Committee of Finance
267. We have also made headway in placing Batswana in strategic positions
in international organisations. In this regard, we remain deeply
appreciative of the support extended to us by SADC and the African
Union in the re-election of Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, to the position of Africa
Regional Director and the election of Justice Sanji Monageng as Judge
of the SADC Administrative Dispute Tribunal (SADCAT).
268. For the first time ever, Botswana participated at the highest political
level in the World Economic Forum, both in Davos, Switzerland and in
Cape Town, South Africa. Our participation at these high level fora
enabled us to meaningfully engage the international community to
secure favourable outcomes from bodies such as the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (UNTACD), the Joint Programme
on HIV/AIDS and the Office of the United Nations Secretary General. I
must say, these engagements are bearing fruit. A case in point was the
invaluable support we received from UNCTAD in devising innovative
strategies for Botswana’s transformation to a knowledge based
269. Mister Speaker, I wish to conclude my speech by reiterating the fact that
my Government places its citizens at the epicentre of its national
development agenda. Therefore, we have to ensure that all our citizens
are involved in the development process.
270. The achievements we have made over the past twelve months give
confidence to our national aspirations as we embark on our economic
transformation. I would like to highlight some of these achievements
that give impetus to my government’s commitment to transform the
lives of our people. These include;
Record passing of legislation relating to anti-terrorism and anti-money
The review of the land policy for mixed use by citizens;
The relaxation of immigration laws to facilitate foreign investment;
The improvement of relations with the labour movement;
The Presidential Initiatives targeted towards generating youth
employment in the ICT and the creative industry sectors;
The passing of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act;
The signing of African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement;
The privatisation and management of campsites by citizens in
protected areas especially National Parks;
The review of the hunting ban to facilitate wildlife management
The re-introduction of Community Based Natural Resources
271. The mandate bestowed upon us through the recent general election is
without doubt a refreshing and rejuvenating breeze as we strive forth to
develop our country and its people. It is a mandate that we uphold with
the utmost respect, and one that will not be returned with complacency.
Instead, we are even more resolute as Batswana, and full of gratitude
for the solid mandate. We aim to deliver, and in so doing, we shall take
it upon ourselves to ensure that we take everyone on board.
272. There is spring in the air; we are ushering in an airflow of media
freedom; there is a discernible current of business confidence in the
country; we are assured of the freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights,
and the atmosphere that permits individual freedoms devoid of fear or
273. Batswana betsho, since this is the ploughing season, I urge all of you to
take advantage of the recent rains to plough.
274. I thank you all for your attention.