Botswana eyes non-mining industry growth – minister

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finance minister Finance Minister Peggy Serame

Botswana aims to support initiatives promoting the growth of non-mining industries, Finance Minister Peggy Serame said Wednesday.

The decision will bolster the economy toward achieving high-income status by 2036, Serame said at a consultative forum with parliament members, emphasizing accelerated job creation, particularly youth employment, fiscal sustainability, economic diversification, and enhanced livelihoods.

Presently, Botswana’s economy heavily relies on the mining industry, which accounts for about 35 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), with diamonds contributing about 94 percent of the total mining share in GDP, according to a report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Serame outlined Botswana’s focus on eight priorities, detailed in the second Transitional National Development Plan, to promote non-mining industries.

These priorities encompass export-led growth, attracting foreign direct investment, supporting the private sector through business environment reforms and value-chain development, innovation and digital transformation, financial sector reform, infrastructure development and spatial planning, green transition, fiscal sustainability, and education and human capital development.

“The priorities are expected to further fuel the current positive economic growth trajectory, expand the country’s productive capacity, accelerate economic transformation, and fortify the economy against adverse external shocks,” she said.

Serame stressed that to escape the middle-income trap and hasten the country’s progression toward achieving high-income status, policymakers must shift their mindset.

She highlighted the necessity for legislative introspection, the creation of new laws, amendments to existing laws, and the formulation of policies that foster entrepreneurship, increase productivity, promote export-led growth, generate decent jobs, and diversify the economy.

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