Botswana: Strategy to Boost Economy

Palapye — A National Transformation Strategy is expected to create employment and promote investment, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Palapye on Friday, the President said the strategy would also motivate development in agriculture and ultimately boost the country's economy.

President Masisi said the strategy would give way for relaxation of some laws to promote small businesses and allow the private sector to flourish.

Batswana, he said, would be allowed to use part of their fields for recreation and entertainment purposes, adding that integrated farming had been allowed to create employment and promote entrepreneurship.

President Masisi said government intended to commercialise subsistence farming to increase food production.

He further emphasised the need to promote cluster farming where fields would be fenced and roads constructed to easy access of commercial farm machinery and trucks.

This, he said, was in line with sustainable development goals and Vision 2036 agenda of prosperity for all.

On other issues, President Masisi said Palapye had grown over the years looking at the population and development that had taken place.

He said according to the National Development Plan 11 what was initially anticipated and planned for Palapye needed to be revisited and changed.

In this regard, the construction of the Palapye hospital would be prioritised and the project would be included in the National Development Plan.

Dr Masisi further touched on the issue of expansion of Morupule Coal Mine, noting that the coal beds were located under fields located between Serowe and Palapye.

He said the project, which was intended to create jobs and boost economy of the region and Botswana as a whole had been delayed due to issues regarding acquisition of fields to make way for mining.

Dr Masisi said some farmers requested high amounts of money as compensation for the field, hence government going for compulsory acquisition of land for the mine project to continue.

The government will compensate the field owners and not according to the exorbitant amounts they called for.

Regarding the allocation of plots to residents of Palapye, he said land authorities would prioritise the allocation of plots to those who had never been given a plot.

President Masisi explained that the country was facing a challenge of corrupt practices, saying government would work hard to combat corruption, which he said had impacted negatively on the economy.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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