Economic Diversification Drive Initiative

The Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) initiative is one of the strategic interventions in the Economic Diversification and Inclusive Growth (EDIG) Portfolio. The Portfolio was jointly developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry in consultation with other key sector ministries and institutions. It was designed with the primary goal to address challenges of economic diversification, export development, poverty, inequality and exclusion, unemployment, local economic and SMME development, and improving the regulatory and business environment. Therefore, the EDD initiative has the primary objective of supporting the Government of Botswana to develop a comprehensive and implementable Economic Diversification Drive Strategy. The strategy will support the diversification and structural transformation of the economy of Botswana and reduce the country’s high dependence on the mineral sector. Through the strategy, the economy will be supported to develop other sustainable growth generating sectors that will spur decent and adequate jobs for the citizenry, alleviate the huge youth unemployment, eradicate extreme poverty and fight against inequality and exclusion within and across the geographical boundaries of Botswana.

One of the guiding principles of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to ensure that no one is left behind and that the needs and dignity of all persons are fundamental in all development interventions. The EDD initiative seeks to support the realization of these guiding principles. Through this initiative, the LNOB principle will be mainstreamed in the EDD Strategy including its strategic objectives, vision, and thematic areas to ensure that the people of Botswana have the ability and capability to lead decent, dignified and rewarding lives in a healthy and sustainable environment where inequality and exclusion are minimised.

Some of the key actions that will be implemented to bring about economic diversification and structural transformation of the economy are: 1) To define high potential sustainable and inclusive growth generating sectors through extensive and participatory consultative processes of all key actors in the society; 2) Develop a robust, effective and efficient institutional structure that will ably lead and coordinate the implementation of the EDD Strategy and its related components that will be developed under the initiative; and 3) Put in place an effective and data informed monitoring, reporting and evaluation framework, which will be regularly updated with new data and information to support the implementation of the EDD initiative in Botswana.

One of the key lessons learned from the implementation of the previous EDD Strategy is the importance of an effective and efficient institutional structure that is imbedded in a robust policy and legislative framework to enable the achievement of the desired goal and policy objectives towards economic diversification. The importance of data to inform monitoring, reporting and evaluation cannot be overemphasized. As such, it is important to heavily invest in sex disaggregated data generation and analysis as well as dissemination to inform policy development and implementation. The engagement of key actors in a consultative and participatory process is equally important for the success of any intervention. It is therefore important that in the articulation of the EDD Strategy, a robust, inclusive, and participatory consultative process be undertaken across the country to define the strategic objectives, vision, and thematic areas of the revised EDD Strategy.