Gaborone — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has underscored the need for private sector participation in Botswana's economic growth.
The point was made by new IMF Botswana mission chief Mr Papa N'Diaye during a courtesy call he paid on President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi Monday as part of the his familiarisation tour.
In an interview, Mr N'Diaye said there was need to hand over the reins to the private sector as part of diversifying the economy.
The handover, he said, should be implemented gradually as the fiscal position grew stronger.
Mr N'Diaye however sad IMF was encouraged by government's efforts to improve the business environment.
"It is quite encouraging to learn that government is reducing some constraints to private sector activity in terms of regulation and providing access to electricity and infrastructure," he said.
He also said it was encouraging to note that the country was working towards diversifying the economy through investing in high skilled labour to achieve diversification.
Meanwhile, IMF has advised Botswana to continue maintaining the economic prudence the country was known for.
Mr N'Diaye said it would be ideal for Botswana to continue with macroeconomic prudence that involved containing recurrent spending while maintaining spending on social safety nets and physical capital.
He further said during his discussions with President Masisi, they exchanged views on Botswana's transition to a high income country and the challenges faced.
He said the transition could be achieved through continuation of prudent macroeconomic policy, good governance and strong institutions that Botswana was famous for.
Welcoming the delegation, President Masisi shared Botswana's vision and the country's commitment to ideals of parliamentary democratic dispensation achieved through general elections which involve multi-party participation.
"We are on the throes of manifesting that yet again. We are going to run a successful general election that will yield a government.
The elections will be free, transparent and fair," he said.
The IMF delegation's visit heralded consultations on Article IV which provides a platform for dialogue with Botswana to assess economic and financial developments in addition to discussing the country's economic and financial policies with government and central bank officials among other things.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>