12 September 2018

Botswana: Vision 2036 Speaks to Implementation

Francistown — One of the aspirations of Vision 2036 is for Botswana to be a high-income country with prosperous people living in the full enjoyment of their potential.

The chairperson of Vision 2036 council, Mr Neo Moroka said this at the 15th National Business Conference when giving perspectives from the vision on the attainment of a high income status.

Mr Moroka highlighted that Vision 2036 was a transformational agenda that defined the country's aspirations and goals as a people, which, he added, included transforming the country from an upper middle-income country to a high income country by 2036, and sets out a vision of how the future would look like.

The vision, he explained, builds on Vision 2016, the country's first national vision from 1996-2016.

While acknowledging that the country had made strides towards prosperity for all, he however, noted that challenges remained.

Mr Moroka said Vision 2036 embraced a new era characterised not only by clear plans, but by a deliberate and clear efforts to emphasise implementation of strategies and initiatives.

"The vision is underpinned by four pillars of sustainable economic development, human and social development, sustainable environment and governance, peace and security," he noted.

The call for implementation, Mr Moroka highlighted, required the participation of government, private sector, civil society and individuals.

The vision, he said, embraced lessons from inequality, unemployment, poor service delivery and inefficiency.

Mr Moroka also implored Batswana to have faith in themselves and to stop over reliance on consultants in order to transition to a high-income status.

The Vision 2036 chairperson challenged both government and the private sector to adopt merit-based recruitment so that the economy had the right people for the right jobs.

For Botswana to attain high-income status, he urged the private sector to take a leadership role and produce quality goods and services.

Vision 2036, he also opined, would have robust and effective monitoring and evaluation systems to track progress made.

Meanwhile, presenting under the topic successful transition to high income-learnings from abroad, Mr Matthey Blaise, a director general from Switzerland explained that his country embraced migration as a catalyst for its development agenda.

Switzerland, he explained, was an open country which attracted talent from all over the world.

"We started by attracting highly skilled people from the European Union. We were not always an open country and migration as everybody understands can have political consequences," he said.

Mr Blaise explained that currently his country was home to 1.1 million people from the EU, adding that the economy focused on the adoption of innovative technologies and promoted science education, which made Switzerland a leader in research, development and innovation.

He also noted that his country was ranked highly in global competitiveness and innovation and in the global happiness index as well as one of the best social security systems and high and competitive salaries.

In addition, Mr Blaise noted that for a country to be competitive, there has to be a balance between imports and exports.

Switzerland, he explained, also boosts a good quality of life, health, safety, education and low unemployment.In addition, he explained that they produced competitive and quality products which they exported throughout the world, and that Germany was their biggest trading partner. The main reasons for their success, Mr Blaise highlighted, were political stability, good education, location, friendly business environment, productivity, good infrastructure and a host of beneficial treaties.

He urged Botswana to focus on areas where the country had a competitive advantage to boost its exports and improve its adoption of innovative technologies if it wanted to transition to a high income status.

Furthermore, Mr Blaise noted that improving work ethics could go a long way to improve productivity.

The conference ended on Tuesday with a call for the private to take the lead in driving innovation and the adoption of information and communication technologies as a tool for transitioning to a high-income status.

Government was also encouraged to demand accountability on high impact projects, the kind of accountability required included critical thinking and problem solving.In addition, delegates agreed that questions had to be asked on why things did not happen and what the solutions for failed projects could be.

Government was also urged to identify factors which motivated people to work harder and work on improving those.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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