Gaborone — Botswana's Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) has improved from 54.5 in 2018 to 55.5, representing a 1.83 per cent improvement in the country's quality score,
Minister of Employment, Labour and Skills Development, Mr Tshenolo Mabeo, has said.
Briefing members of the media on the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) on Wednesday, Minister Mabeo said improvement in the quality score emanated from improvements in eight of the 12 pillars.
These eight pillars are; infrastructure, information and communication technology adoption, health, skills, financial system and market-size business dynamism and innovation capability.
In terms of global and regional positioning, Mr Mabeo said Botswana ranked 91 out of 141 countries, compared to 90 out of 140 countries in 2018, representing a decline by one position.
"In the Sub-Saharan region, the country is fourth behind Mauritius ranked 52 with a score of 64.3, South Africa ranked 60 with a score of 62.4, and Seychelles ranked 76 with a score of 59.6," he added.
Overall, Mr Mabeo said the country's performance remained average with six of the 12 pillars scoring around 50 to 59. He also noted that the key strength remained Macroeconomic Stability with a score of 100 and a top-ranking of position one, together with 33 other countries. "Also performing fairly well are Labour Markets with a score of 60 and ranked 57, followed by Financial Systems with a quality score of 60 and ranked 69. Institutions have a better ranking compared to Financial Systems ranked 70, but a lower quality score of 54," he added.
However, Minister Mabeo expressed concern about the continued decline in quality score of this pillar, saying this year, declines were coming from security-related indicators and efficiency of the legal framework in settling disputes.
The key challenges were around Market size with a score of 39, ranked 112, innovation capability with a score of 31, ranked 99, and ICT adoption with a score of 42, and ranked 98.
Moving forward, the minister said the country had to have a more focused approach in addressing institutions' related challenges by intensifying a multi-stakeholder approach to improving the country's productivity and competitiveness.
"There is quick win around ensuring quality and timely data is submitted to international organisations, as 70 per cent of the data comes from such organs, whilst 30 per cent is solicited through the executive opinions surveys," he said.
For that reason, he stressed that there was a need for a closer liaison with desk officers supplying information to international organisations from different ministries, to ensure the provision of accurate and up-to-date data.
Additionally, to achieve a holistic approach to improving the country's competitiveness, Minister Mabeo said a more coordinated approach was also required, complemented by a collaboration of the various critical stakeholders and improved communication.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>