Gaborone — The recently approved Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a combination of renewable energy and thermal coal, will ensure that Botswana is a key exporter of reliable electricity by 2026.
Giving a presentation during the Lucara Botswana, Africa acceleration virtual conference, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology & Energy Security, Mr Lefoko Moagi said approval of the plan for electricity development was a step in the right direction.
IRP, he said, would address factors that impacted electricity supply and delivery ranging from government regulations to physical assets, such as transmission lines or coal plants, to customer demand and other drivers.
Mr Moagi noted that new opportunities were emerging in the coal mining sector and high solar eradiation.
He said government was continuously seeking to lure foreign investors in the mining sector to further broaden the country's economic base.
However, Mr Moagi said identification of economic diversification opportunities that would broaden the economic base remained the main challenge.
Therefore the thrust of Botswana's economic policy should be of value addition to minerals in an effort to extract as well as diversify away from diamond mining to other activities with the highest potential of broadening the economic base, he said.
Minister Moagi said there was need to invest in other sectors such as beneficiation of minerals, mining industry services, tourism and financial services.
He said government had, since the discovery of the first diamond deposits in 1967, put in place appropriate legislations and structures to ensure good governance and sustainable management of mineral resources to usefully utilise the revenue generated.
Post-independence, he said, mining had played a crucial role in the country's infrastructure development, education, health and economic growth for the benefit of the greater populace.
The developmental strides were attained as a result of the productive international partnership between Botswana and global mining investors, stated the minister.
He described the country's partnership with mining investors as a model of success standing out for global recognition.
Minister Moagi also said it was of paramount importance for the country to nurture bilateral relations with other countries which were key players in the mining industry, either as investors or consumers.
He said Botswana continued to be ranked favourably by various international ranking institutions due to factors such as competitive mining laws, low sovereign risk and good infrastructure.
Mr Moagi said the favourable investment climate was not limited to the mining sector but extended to all economic investment opportunities in the country.BOPA
Source : BOPA