Business Botswana is currently engaging experts to draft a recovery plan for the private sector in light of the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
According to the Project Consultant, Dr. Monnane Monnane, the initiative will focus on three main areas: small stock, tourism and the horticulture sector.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Monnane explained the project has two main components.
“The first one is review and update of private sector development strategy and programme,” he declared.
The strategy was last updated in 2008, with Monnane ruefully noting ‘much has happened’ in the intervening 13 years.
The second component is to improve the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) by building an ecosystem within the sector to ensure its sustainability.
“Initially it will focus on horticulture, tourism, and small stock as I mentioned, but there are several projects under this,” he said.
Other plans under component two include the development of a shared services centre. This will serve as a centralized point where basic secretarial services are divided between the horticultural and the small stock sector.
“The other one is the development of a strategic plan for the horticultural and small stock sectors,” continued Monnane, adding the next step will be to develop insurance schemes for these sectors.
Citing the example of horticulture, which is exposed to many factors that can adversely affect it, Monane warned the absence of tailor-made insurance policies is a recipe for disaster.
“As much as we will be doing this, we will be making sure that it is aligned with any government initiatives that may come and this will help us avoid any duplication,” he promised.
The project is being developed in collaboration with the African Development Bank. It is hoped implementation of these activities will start in May after a company has been identified to assist in applying them.
For her part, the Private Sector Recovery Plan Project Manager, Tiny Diswai said the private sector is largely dependent on government and characterized by too many state-owned enterprises.
Diswai stressed the private sector, through Business Botswana, view Covid-19 as a pivotal moment in the country’s economy – hence the desperate need for such a recovery plan.
“The plan has envisaged putting the private sector in the driver’s seat while recognising the critical role that government plays in rebuilding the economy,” noted Diswai.
She pointed out the plan is being built on already existing strategies, particularly the government’s National Development Plan (NDP) 11, which talks of developing diversified sources of revenue as well as human capital development.