The private sector in Botswana, like many countries has experienced the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis. UNDP,supported Business Botswana, to develop its Recovery Plan in consultation with World Bank, ILO and FAO. The Chief Executive Officer, Norman Moleele announced at a media briefing addressed by both Business Botswana and UNDP that the post COVID-19 Recovery Plan for the Private Sector is informed by the principle of “building back better, with the private sector acting as its own driving force”
“We need to see a resilient private sector which is better guarded against future shocks. Accordingly, this plan foresees a number of transformations in the private sector to help us achieve that goal,” said Moleele. He elaborated that the plan sought to have a more inclusive private sector, with particular emphasis on the participation of youth and women; an economy with technology , in particular digital technologies , as its backbone, as part of the fourth industrial revolution; a diversified economy , with strengthening local value and supply chains; a greener economy, capitalising on opportunities to recycle and to utilise renewable energy and finally a commercially independent agriculture sector capable of self-reliance. He emphasized that these guiding principles and transformations have shaped the recovery plan and are expected to put Botswana on the path to a high-performance economy.
On her part the UNDP Botswana Resident Representative, Her Excellency Jacinta Barrins said the private sector is the engine of development. Gone is the narrative that the private sector focuses only on profit. They are partners in development, alongside government and others, striving for the better of the country. They are part of the development journey! There actions affect the country!
She emphasized that the plan sets out opportunities where the Private sector can take the lead and invest knowing that their monies are helping to create jobs, a sustainable environment while also making a profit. It is important as the private sector builds back better that it engages with other partnerships including research and financial institutions.
She elaborated that to build back better means we cannot return to pre-COVID-19 days where the private sector relied to a large degree on government.
The Private Sector Recovery Plan is intended to also provide recommendations to the Government of Botswana for inclusion in the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus& Transformational Plan.