Gaborone — President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says the domestic economy grew by 4.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Officially opening the 46th meeting of the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) in Gaborone on May 16, President Masisi said the growth was a result of real value added from mining, transport and communications as well as finance and business services which increased by 13.9, 7.1 and 4.9 per cent respectively.
He said the increase in the mining sector was mainly driven by the diamond value addition, which increased significantly by 15.4 per cent.
Other industries, he said, recorded positive growth of more than two per cent with the exception of water and electricity, trade, hotels and restaurants which decreased by 0.2 per cent.
President Masisi said inflation stood at 3.3 per cent in March this year, which was within the forecast range of three to six per cent.
Government, he said, was committed to creating space for the private sector to lead economic growth particularly with implementation of the three prioritised clusters of tourism in the Ngamiland District, beef in the Molopo to Sandveld area and finance and knowledge intensive business services in Gaborone.
"Government will also between the 2019/2020 and the 2020/2021 financial years, facilitate the development of small stock cluster, particularly in the Lobu area as well as higher education clusters. I therefore, call upon relevant sectors to prepare and be part of these cluster initiatives, which are key to the diversification and transformation of the country's economy," he said.
President Masisi further stated that the foreign direct investment mission was yielding positive results as some of the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed during presidential international tours were now being implemented.
"The process to inculcate customer service standards and business culture in our public service as benchmarked from the Disney Institute has begun with facilitation by the Botswana Public Service College.
The college has been engaging with the Disney Institute, whose representatives were recently in the country to work on a collaborative model," he said.
The initiative, he said would substantially improve service delivery in the public service and urged stakeholders to support the initiative since it would go a long way in improving work ethic and service delivery.
President Masisi pleaded with the private sector to position itself to take advantage of opportunities that arose out of presidential visits since such efforts were part of shaping the path towards economic diversification.
He applauded the private sector for its continued participation in the development and implementation of economic growth strategies.
In addition, he commended academia for equally playing a crucial role in the economy.
The President said the country had also made positive strides in improving areas that facilitated investment and private sector endeavours particularly in the ease of doing business reforms drive citing the issuance of visas at points of entry as well as decentralisation of the service to embassies.
Such reforms, he said would not only make it easy for new investors coming into the country but would also smoothen domestic companies' ability to access skills that might be needed from outside the country's borders.
Source : BOPA