1. Madam Speaker, may I request that we observe a minute of silence for those who have departed during the past year. I thank you.
  2. Madam Speaker, it is once again my pleasure to report on Government’s perspective of where we are and where we intend to go along our path towards an even better Botswana. In this journey Government’s goals have been constant.
  • We continue to seek a Botswana where sustained development is achieved through inclusive, diversified economic growth that further advances us to high income status;
  • As democrats, we remain committed to ensuring that our citizens are politically and socially, as well as economically, empowered to live dignified lives;
  • We are steadfast in our commitment that the custodians of our future, our talented youth, possess the moral and intellectual discipline, as well as material means, to take full advantage of emerging opportunities, while overcoming any challenges they may face, in this ever changing globalised world;
  • We thus envision a society in which all shall share in the resources of our homeland through common values, as well as rights and responsibilities.
  1. As our resources are finite, we must focus on our national priorities; which include accelerated job creation, the eradication of abject poverty and the provision of quality education. We will also have to continue to commit considerable resources to improving health care, including the war on HIV/AIDS. Given current circumstance, we further recognise an urgent need to improve the capacity and management of our water supply, while at the same time moving beyond the outages we have hereto experienced as we become an energy surplus nation.
  2. As we begin the countdown to the 50th Anniversary of our Republic, let us accept that we have reached a stage where a major choice must be made. We can either become more productive by working together to reach our goals; or we can allow individual desires and potentially debilitating divisions to rob us of further progress.
  3. As a nation we can only achieve our full potential if our individual interests remain subordinate to the national interest. Our greatest strength over the past five decades has been our capacity to find common ground in our planning. This administration has in this respect consistently sought consensus by reaching out to all sections of the public, through our various, well known forms of consultation. This has given us a clear This has given us a clear roadmap to guide us to our destination.


  1. Madam Speaker, it is in the nature of any journey to be confronted with emerging challenges beyond one’s control, such as the onset of drought or current global economic trends, which have been characterised by greater market volatility; as was reflected in the abrupt fall in the price of most mineral commodities including diamonds earlier this year. It is in this context that Government further recognised the need to take bold, proactive measures to stimulate the local economy while quickening the pace of public sector delivery.
  2. The Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) that I unveiled last month is a holistic action plan for achieving the goals of stimulating economic growth, accelerated employment creation and the promotion of economic diversification. The following have been identified as key sectors that will drive the programme: Infrastructure, Agriculture, Tourism and Manufacturing and Services, enabled by the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD). In addition to stimulating inclusive economic growth a key ESP objective is to re-boot Government to ensure the urgent delivery of existing national priorities. The programme thus targets key areas where there is a backlog of public projects as well as labour intensive opportunities to promote local enterprise. ESP implementation will thus further focus on:
  • Accelerated land servicing
    • Boosting local manufacturing and services with increased citizen participation;
    • Road construction;
    • Achieving food security and job creation through improved agricultural production;
    • Kick-starting economic activities in rural areas;
    • Improved education and healthcare through the upgrading of facilities; and
    • Leveraging ICT for the creation of an e-society through expanded e-services.
  1. To further oversee its delivery, ESP is being coordinated by His Honour the Vice President who is being assisted by a Cabinet Sub-Committee supported by a Technical Committee and District Development Committees. To strengthen the overall coordination of local delivery, District Commissioners will report on progress directly to the Ministry of State President. In addition, the delivery of ESP will be facilitated by a high level Project Implementation Unit.

[President Khama further observed that a brochure further outlining ESP would soon be circulated]


  1. Madam Speaker, the introduction of ESP is consistent with the need for us to constantly adjust to changing economic circumstances. Unfortunately, we still find ourselves in a post-2008 global economy that is characterised by slower growth and greater uncertainty. Having weathered the initial storms of the downturn we had hoped for a more robust and stable global market than currently prevails for our exports and services. In this regard, the latest indicators suggest a decline in the demand for our diamonds during the second half of the current financial year that will be greater than what we experienced in 2008-09.
  2. The latest estimates from Statistics Botswana indicate that in real terms, the domestic economy expanded by 4.4% in 2014 compared to 9.3% in 2013, due to decreased growth in both mining and non-mining sectors. Growth in the mining sector was 4.5% in 2014, down from the exceptional 23.9% registered in 2013, resulting from a general decline of commodity prices including weakened demand for diamonds. The non-mining sector also registered a lower growth, at 4.4% in 2014 as compared to 6.8% in 2013, with the challenges of the Water and Electricity sectors being especially difficult.
  3. According to the latest IMF World Economic Outlook report a modest growth rate of 3.1% is projected for the world economy in 2015. Due to the steeper than originally projected slowdown in mineral revenue, our expected domestic economic growth has also been adjusted downwards to 2.6% this year.
  4. Madam Speaker, I am, however, pleased to note that in 2015 our domestic inflation rate continued to fall within the Bank of Botswana’s target of 3–6%, with monthly inflation ranging from 2.8% and 3.6% during the first half of the year. This trend is expected to continue in the coming months, due in part to lower fuel prices. For its part, the Bank of Botswana has pursued an accommodative monetary policy, lowering its Bank Rate to 6% thus reducing the cost of borrowing. In January 2015, the weights of the currencies in the Pula basket were revised to 50% South African rand and 50% SDR currencies, based on inflation differentials, while a zero annual rate of crawl of the Pula exchange rate was implemented for the year.
  5. The exchange rate between the pula and the SDR currencies has had a positive impact on our Foreign Exchange Reserves, which as of August 2015 were estimated at P87.8 billion, a 16.3% increase from P75.5 billion in August 2014. Of the total amount in August 2015, the Government investment Account, which is Government’s savings, was P 39.6 billion. A combination of these savings and borrowing, especially domestic borrowing, can provide additional funds to stimulate our economy. Any use of savings and borrowings will be done prudently to ensure the continued sustainability of our fiscal situation.

PART 4 BUDGET & PLANNING (NB: paragraphs 15-16 were circulated in print, but not read in Parliament)

  1. Madam Speaker, insofar as Government’s budget remains an important factor in our country’s development, continued financial prudence remains crucial. For the 2014/15 financial year, the total expenditure and net lending was P50.56 billion, which was 95% of the revised budget estimate of P53.22 billion. Out of this, recurrent expenditure amounted to P37.58 billion, while development expenditure was P13.07 billion. This was a significant increase in development expenditure compared to the P8.91 billion spent in 2013/14. The overall fiscal balance for the 2014/15 financial year was a budget surplus of P5.34 billion, compared to a surplus of P7.22 billion in 2013/14.
  2. Subsequent to the extension of the duration of National Development Plan (NDP) 10 to March 2017, the preparation of NDP 11 has progressed alongside the formulation of the new vision to take us beyond 2016. A consultation framework for the next vision was drafted in April 2015, allowing the preparation for NDP 11 to now also move forward. A task force has meanwhile been appointed to engage the public on the framework.
  3. Government also remains committed to the global partnership programme with the World Bank on Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystems (WAVES). Through this programme, we are developing natural capital accounts for water, minerals, energy and tourism. The information obtained from this accounts will guide policy decisions during the implementation phases of NDP 11. The results from the water accounts are already guiding our planning. More broadly developing natural capital accounts gives us a truer picture of the economic contribution of natural resources. As such, the programme should foster sustainable development strategies, while providing a complement to GDP as a measure of economic growth.

PART 5: DOING BUSINESS (This part was circulated in print but not read)

  1. Madam Speaker, as our improved but still middling performance in the latest World Economic Forum Competitiveness report attests, we can and must do more to enhance our country’s business environment for both local and foreign investors. As a step in this direction in April 2015 a Doing Business Reforms Roadmap and Action Plan was approved. In this context we are undertaking additional reforms to address impediments to doing business within the existing legal and regulatory framework and institutional and governance structures, including better turnaround times for visas and work and resident permits. Here I wish to emphasize that effective implementation of the reforms will require active collaboration between Government and Private Sector in monitoring and evaluation.
  2. Government is also in the process of reviewing the Building Control Act and its Regulations, as well as finalizing the Regulatory Impact Assessment Strategy. This latter initiative is meant to ensure that all the new laws that will be enacted in future do not become a bottleneck to the ease of doing business initiatives.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government has no greater priority than the urgent need to reduce unemployment and underemployment, including among our youth. In this respect EDD, now supported by ESP, remains a key instrument for growing jobs as well as the economy.
  2. Since its inception in 2010, EDD has been facilitating employment generating business opportunities by leveraging public procurement in support of domestic industries with additional support for youth entrepreneurs. This has resulted in the purchase of a total of P 17.98 billion worth of goods and services, including P 1.1 billion for the first two quarters of 2015/16 financial year. The number of EDD registered enterprises now stands at 1,425, which collectively contribute to the employment of 40,333 Batswana.
  3. To further facilitate local production and consumption, all of Government, including Local Authorities and Parastatals have been directed to purchase locally produced products from locally based manufacturers, service providers and agricultural producers. Procuring entities can only procure products from other sources locally and/or from outside the country, where there is a need and only in exceptional circumstances where justification is given.
  4. To further stimulate job creation Government has adopted an accelerated programme for job creation focused on key areas that have a high potential for labour intensive economic growth. In addition to EDD and the ESP targeted areas of Agriculture, Tourism and Infrastructure our efforts to stimulate the economy will be given additional impetus through the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as geographically defined economic areas providing investor friendly business environments.
  5. Having passed the enabling legislation we are now establishing a Special Economic Zone Authority. The Authority will oversee the SEZs, which in turn will facilitate private sector growth through the creation of value added economic opportunities generated by local business synergies. Industries expected to evolve in these areas include:
  • Light Manufacturing;
    • Applied ICT;
    • Energy and mineral beneficiation
    • Pharmaceuticals;
    • Financial services; and
    • Agro business and food processing.
  1. A special economic zone for Kasane-Kazangula will, for example, cater for the expanded tourism, construction, transport services and market access for local agriculture that will result from the construction of the road and Rail Bridge at Kazangula and the water pipeline to Pandamatenga, along with associated infrastructure. Additional SEZs will enhance already ongoing developments, such as Selebi-Phikwe’s transformation as a metallurgical hub, the expansion of financial and innovative technology services in Gaborone, Francistown’s projected growth as a nexus for trade and transport and the establishment of the leather park at Lobatse among others.
  2. Madam Speaker, job creation is inevitably linked to investment. In this respect the Botswana International Trade Centre (BITC) continues to promote our country as a competitive location for investment. During the 2014/15 financial year, BITC helped realise a total combined investment capital of just over P3.2 billion, which contributed to the creation of 3,316 jobs.
  3. Our job creation efforts are also being driven by The Rural Development Council (RDC), which continues to promote various community based projects.
  4. Business start-ups will also continue to receive critical support from the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), which since 2008 has funded 2,288 enterprises with a total value of nearly P2.1 billion, in the process creating over 11 thousand jobs. During the 2014/15 financial year, CEDA assisted 329 new enterprises with a total monetary value of P328 million, collectively generating 1,971 new jobs.
  5. The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is also playing its role in nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship through its training workshops and outreach mentoring. In 2014-15, 24,426 clients were trained, while a further 472 benefitted from additional outreach.


  1. Madam Speaker, the equitable and efficient distribution of land is a critical factor for realising economic opportunities and social wellbeing. But, unfortunately, the shortage of serviced land has in recent years all too often proved to be a bottle neck rather than an enabler of development. As part of our Economic Stimulus Programme we now intend to fast track the servicing of 37,000 commercial, industrial, residential and other plots, beginning in the current financial year. In these efforts we will be facilitated by the establishment of a land information centre resulting from the Land Administration Processes, Capacity Building and Systems (LAPCAS) Project.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government is committed to ensuring that tourism’s contribution to local job creation and citizen empowerment, as well to GDP, continues to increase. Besides being the highest economic revenue earner after minerals, the tourist sector already accounts for over 35,000 jobs. To create further employment as part of ESP we are focusing on the Kasane–Kazungula Redevelopment Project, which will upgrade Kasane as a premier tourist centre, while establishing Kazungula as a key centre for transport and logistics. Additional tourist projects and infrastructure across the country to be boosted by ESP include: Dams, cultural and eco-tourism, conferences and events along with the hospitality sector, which will together bring a facelift to our country.
  2. I am pleased to report that citizen ownership as well as management participation in the tourism and hospitality sector is still growing. Consistent with our Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Policy, the operations of Community Based Organizations are being commercialized to increase the benefits for participating communities and individuals. During 2014/15 financial year, a total of P14 million was generated by Wildlife Community Based Organizations, creating 425 new jobs.
  3. There has also been diversification of the CBNRM product with some communities engaging in projects that utilise monuments and heritage sites. New tourism sites are currently being accessed with local communities for development in such areas as the Central Kgalagadi and Khutse Game Reserves.
  4. We are further enhancing awareness about our country’s different tourism products through strategic marketing and promotion initiatives and partnerships, including daily outreach through our BWgovernment social media. The Botswana Tourism Organisation has further partnered with National Geographic for the World Legacy Award 2016 and the International Travel Bourse Berlin as a partner country for 2017. In addition, Lonely Planet has listed Botswana as its number one “Must See Country for 2016.” These partnerships and positive developments will further enhance the growth of our tourism sector.
  5. Government also continues to facilitate sports and adventure as well as culture based events across the country. All the events recorded significant growth in terms of spectator numbers and associated economic spin offs.


  1. Turning to agriculture, ESP is expected to stimulate local production through integrated farming by, among other things:
  • Providing strategic incentives, including guaranteed market access for local producers, both commercial and small scale;
    • Mandating that public institutions procure from local food producers;
    • Facilitate market access through the formation of production clusters and marketing cooperatives; and
  1. The horticultural component of ESP will further include projects such as grey water reuse in Serowe, the National Agro-Processing plant in Selibe-Phikwe, rehabilitation of Glen Vally infrastructure and electrification of Shashe Farms. Additional rainfed projects for implementation will include electrification of Mosisedi Farms and cluster clearing in Magoriapitse and Tshwaragano in Tonota.
  2. To further improve our arable sector as a revenue earner and source of employment, Government is conducting research in areas such as crop breeding, soil and water management, farm mechanisation in the context of different farming systems and agro-ecological conditions. A project co-funded with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) further includes training in conservation and the use of low cost mechanization options, combined with improved crop agronomy. In addition we are piloting a scheme to develop and demonstrate a viable model for small scale irrigation using treated waste water.
  3. Madam Speaker, the 2014/15 cropping season experienced drought conditions, which resulted in complete crop failure in many areas. The total area planted during the 2014/15 ploughing season thus decreased by 28%, while the total number of farmers who took part in arable farming also decreased by 37%. The national estimated cereals production for 2014/15 is estimated to stand at 68,000 metric tonnes (Mt.), which is only 22.7% of the national cereal requirement of 300,000 Mt. The whole country was, therefore, declared drought stricken following the 2014/2015 Drought and Household Food Security assessment. To this end, Government has adopted relief measures for a period from July 2015 through to June 2016 to assist affected Batswana.
  4. Despite the poor rains, there were a number of farmers who improved their productivity through the adoption of methods such as the use of fertilizers, use of hybrid seeds and row planting.
  5. The special ISPAADD programme targeting Kgalagadi, Gantsi and parts of the Kweneng and Southern Districts is being implemented. With respect to the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) project as of June 2015, a cumulative total of 15,335 applicants had benefited, including 7,754 youth. Poultry and small stock abattoirs construction is progressing with SEPHA abattoir in Palapye at 80% completion, while a tender for works has been awarded for the Tsabong multi-species abattoir.
  6. Botswana’s beef industry continues to grow as a mainstay of our agriculture. Turnover at Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) for 2014 year reached P1.16 billion (from slaughter of 144,083 cattle) which is an increase of P80 million over the 2013 revenue. In order to meet the demands of local and regional market, the BMC abattoir in Maun was upgraded and automated to increase production. This will assist in marketing of cattle from Ngamiland.
  7. The Dairy Development Strategy adopted last year is beginning to bear fruits as Sunnyside farm near Lobatse has been leased to a dairy company. Further investment into dairy sub-sector is being processed for Milk Afric and Semitwe Dairy.
  8. Madam Speaker, the National Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAADD) continues to support the farming community through provision of technical assistance and guidance. In this regard, NAMPAADD is providing mentoring through demonstrations of technologies.
  9. The transformation of the Botswana College of Agriculture into the University of Agriculture and Natural Resources is on track. The University will focus on the practical applications of science and agro related research.
  10. The National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI) was launched in June 2015 following the decision to merge the Department of Agricultural Research with the National Veterinary Laboratory and the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC). This establishment will focus in areas of promoting research, innovation and training.


  1. Madam Speaker, as I earlier alluded to, while the minerals sector remains a principal source of revenue and primary sector for economic growth and diversification, it is currently challenged by depressed markets. As of the end of August 2015 the benchmark global price of 1-carat and 0.30-carat diamonds had declined by 12.9% and 29% respectively over the past 12 months, due largely to weakened Asian demand. While demand is projected to recover the latest downturn underscores the fact that the era when we could almost always rely on steady demand and rising prices for our gems has given way to greater uncertainty. The anticipated reopening of Lerala and BK11 mines, which have been under care and maintenance since 2012, has thus been delayed. Ghaghoo Mine, however, started operation during the last quarter of 2014, while Karowe mine continues to enjoy success.
  2. The recent closures of two factories in Botswana, albeit offset by the opening of two others, as well as bankruptcies in some major diamond trading centres, further point to the fragile and fluid nature of the industry.
  3. Despite the challenges, the sale of rough diamonds through regular sights, tenders and auctions have been taking place in Botswana as scheduled up to the end of September 2015. In addition to DTC and Okavango Diamonds, Gem Diamond have also started local sales.
  4. The Diamond Cutting and Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Amendment Bills, aimed at adapting to current downstream industry developments for improving business conditions and enabling growth, is being finalised. The amendment is expected to facilitate the policy on further beneficiation and citizen empowerment among other key issues. The drafting of the, which is intended to reinforce beneficiation efforts, is also in process.
  5. We have further decided to establish Minerals Development Company Botswana to manage Government investments in mining and diamond valuation services.


  1. Madam Speaker, transitioning Botswana from an energy dependent to energy surplus nation is a priority. Morupule B Power Station continues to undergo remedial works. Our energy supply is, therefore, supplemented by the Orapa and Matshelagabedi Diesel Peaking Plants. To ensure long term security of power supply, the Government is in the process of procuring Independent Power Producers for the development of an additional 300 MW by extending Morupule B with unit 5 & 6 (each of 150 MW) as well as a further 300MW plant at a coalfield to be determined. We are also refurbishing Morupule A, while introducing solar power plants.
  2. In light of our recent frustration with the poor delivery of the Morupule B and other projects, Government is in the process of establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) to oversee the implementation of major energy and water projects. This will be done through appropriate project management methodologies.
  3. It is worth noting that our increased demand for energy has in part been due to the success of our National Electricity Access programme. As of May 2015, the Programme has enabled 49,897 additional households to connect to the national grid. The total number of electrified households now stands at 302,436, while the total number of gazetted villages that have been electrified now stands at 77%.
  4. With respect to the petroleum sub-sector, a quality monitoring program of petroleum products to protect consumers and the environment is in place. Government will ultimately increase its strategic stock of petroleum products once the construction of 149 million litres facility at Tshele Hill is completed. Once completed, it will give Government additional 40 days’ worth of stocks as part of extending the security of supply for the country.
  5. The National Energy Policy has been submitted for Cabinet approval and tentatively for forward submission to Parliament. This policy document will guide the energy sector going forward.


  1. Madam Speaker, securing our domestic water needs through better management and increased conservation as well as expanded supply will continue to challenge us for some time. Government has availed a budget for emergency projects, network extensions, groundwater investigations and the expansion/installation of water treatment plant capacity. Altogether, more than P1 billion worth of projects are at various stages of implementation. With the completion of the Dikgatlhong, Lotsane and Thune dams our efforts have shifted to associated infrastructure. The Dikgatlhong pipeline was commissioned in October 2014, while Lotsane infrastructure is complete and supplies water to 22 villages.
  2. The extension of the North South Carrier from Moralane Break Pressure Tank to Palapye is ongoing and is now scheduled for completion in June 2016. An additional pump station is to be constructed near Serorome Valley to improve delivery and efficiency of the NSC 1 downstream of Mahalapye to Gaborone.
  3. The Mmamashia–Kanye NSC Connection project commenced in August 2014 and will be completed in February 2017. This project will supply the villages of Thamaga, Moshupa and Kanye with water from Mmamashia Water Treatment Works. Additional Government initiatives to improve water supply and sanitation include projects such as Maun Water Supply and Sanitation Phase II, Kanye and Molepolole Sanitation, Seronga/Gudigwa water supply, Shakawe Water Treatment Plant, Mogodi Hill – Pitsane Pipeline and Boteti Northern Cluster Water Project.
  4. Going forward, a comprehensive assessment of all water challenges is also being finalised to assist with the prioritisation and implementation of water projects. A task team formed to carry out an assessment of the water and wastewater situation in Botswana has recommended a number of projects meant to increase water supply across the country.
  5. Government has completed the Masama East Phase 1 boreholes injection into the NSC1 pipeline, at a cost of more than P300 million, as a means of supplementing the water supply to the Greater Gaborone region. Plans are also underway to extend a similar project at Masama West (Phase 2) at an estimated cost of some P450 million. Both the Palapye and the Mmamashia Water Treatment Plants will be expanded by the Water Utilities Corporation to increase the capacity to 40 million cubic litres a day from the current 16 million cubic litres day due to the increased water demand for the Palapye/Serowe Areas, and increase the capacity of Mmamashia to 180 million cubic litres day so as to be able to receive the additional amount of water coming through the NSC 2 pipeline and subsequently meet demands of the Gaborone water supply system. The commissioning of the expanded plants is scheduled for Mid-2018. Government has further begun a project to treat the Ramotswa well field borehole water for potable use, which will augment water supply to our South-East District villages. This project is expected to be completed before the end of the current financial year.
  6. Madam Speaker, tapping into shared watercourses will be critical to securing our nation’s long-term water needs. We therefore continue to prioritise trans-boundary cooperation under the auspices of the SADC Protocol on shared watercourses. The Chobe – Zambezi Water Transfer Scheme is ongoing, while the Lesotho Highlands Feasibility Study has also been completed and its findings are under evaluation.
  7. In addition, the Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM) has been launched. This river basin is in fact the home to all our dams that we currently rely on for water supply.


  1. Madam Speaker, our delivery of additional quality public infrastructure through ESP will be facilitated through the implementation of recent legislation governing the construction industry, which has set professional standards for improved performance and self-regulation to protect public interest.
  2. A pilot project for private sector participation in maintenance of Government facilities in Otse Police College and International Law Enforcement Academy started in September 2015. Parallel to the pilot project, a condition survey for 15 prisons facilities have been completed and the works for maintenance of 4 prisons facilities have been started in July 2015. These condition surveys have been extended to 5 Senior Secondary Schools and 11 Magistrate Courts; the next phase will cover 5 old hospitals and other government facilities to enable prioritisation of Facilities Management activities.
  3. Under the 15% maintenance reservation programme we have continued to create opportunities for youth owned construction companies and individual youth with vocational skills in the construction industry. Since the programme started in 2009 to-date, maintenance tenders worth P 167,531,666 have been awarded country wide to 250 youth owned contractors and 196 individuals with vocational skills in the construction industry. The private sector is also engaging youth owned companies listed in the Government database on works to the value of P 36,640,122.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government continues to maintain and rehabilitate 18,000 km of road network, comprising 6,400km tarred roads, 7,600 gravel roads and 4,000 earth/track roads. As part of ESP we will increase funding in the coming year for projects to decongest the A1 road, while building bypasses in Francistown, Molepolole and Lobatse. We will further prioritise the construction of access roads across the country to help stimulate local economic activity.
  2. The Road Levy Collection Fund is being used to implement labour intensive road related maintenance projects such as bush clearing, grass cutting, cleaning of drainage structures, pothole patching and road sign repair. Major road works that are at various stages of implementation include the widening of the 30 km Tonota – Francistown road; and civil works contracts covering a total of 335km in the Southern Region. Bridges under implementation include Platjan, Ramotswa, Kazungula and Mohembo.
  3. Madam Speaker, Botswana Railways is reintroducing the Passenger Train Service to run between Lobatse and Francistown. The plan is to run a daily scheduled night services from each end, with additional services during holidays. The service is expected to commence in March 2016. To further improve business performance and service delivery, BR is undertaking a project to procure eight locomotives, while rehabilitating its train station facilities.
  4. With respect to aviation, the construction of the Kasane Terminal Building, which commenced on 3rd November 2014, is scheduled for completion in August 2016, while the construction of a new air traffic control tower and technical block at Maun commenced in January 2015, with completion scheduled for January 2016. Works at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) Terminal Building have been completed.
  5. Air Botswana has improved its on-time departures, with an average of 86% on-time performance rating for the reporting period, while beginning on the 30th of June 2015, Ethiopian Airlines commenced flights into Gaborone.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government continues to leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the quality of life for Batswana, while positioning the country as a regional ICT hub. To promote local job creation and citizen empowerment in ICT, as part of our ESP initiative we have decided to increase the number of ICT areas reserved for citizen owned and operated ICT companies. Some of these areas include Government computer maintenance and procurement, including 2nd level support operations and maintenance. We also intend to provide incentives for local assembly. This decision dovetails with our commitment to accelerate the upgrading of ICT systems across Government for the effective delivery of critical e-Services in such areas as health, education, doing business facilitation and immigration. We further intend to draw from the Universal Access Fund to fast track the extension of broadband connectivity to all villages of less than 5,000 in the Gantsi, Kgalalgadi, Kweneng and North West Districts. This project includes rollout broadband connectivity to 175 schools in the same districts, as well as another 523 schools in other parts of the country.
  2. Madam Speaker, BOCRA continues to monitor the performance of the telecommunications networks and the concerns raised by the general public relating to the unsatisfactory quality of service of some of the networks. Operators have, however, put in place mitigation strategies to address the noted challenges. Overall operators have committed over P150 million this year to improve infrastructure in order to accommodate new technology leading to improvements in quality of service. For its part, BOCRA is procuring a fixed and mobile quality of service monitoring tool in order to independently assess the quality of service of the telecommunications networks.


  1. Madam Speaker, as a matter of urgency Government has also initiated an extensive programme of construction and maintenance works in schools country wide. As part of ESP this includes the construction of 5,885 additional houses for both primary and secondary school teachers, along with 1,153 new classrooms in the primary and secondary schools, as well as an additional 175 science labs and 1,280 upgraded ablution facilities. We will also convert two junior secondary schools into unified schools.
  2. The development of the Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan (ETSSP) was completed in November 2014 and approved by Cabinet in May 2015. The Plan is a reform strategy for improving the quality of the education sector’s performance. At its core, ETSSP is focused on improving governance through enhanced educational administration to deliver better coordination and resource allocation, as well as strategic planning. ETSSP also provides for standards setting and more robust monitoring and evaluation to reduce the implementation gaps that have resulted in the recent trend of declining school performance.
  3. Consistent with the ETSSP objective of closing the existing skills mismatch between too many school leavers and actual labour market demands, as well as our ESP commitment of accelerated job creation, Government has set up the “Target 20,000 Initiative” for the rapid up-skilling and retooling of unemployed youth to meet current industry demands. This will be done in phases starting with an intake of 5,000 students during the 2015/16 financial year. The training will focus on industry areas identified as being in high demand, including finance and business services, tourism, creative industries, mining, energy and water resources, agriculture, construction and transport. Moving forward the mix of training needs will be as guided by the Human Resource Development Council. This new initiative was introduced to cater for the still considerable number of youth who have not already benefitted from some form of skills training.
  4. A draft Policy Framework for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is also at an advanced stage of development, and is scheduled for completion by December 2015. Government has also introduced sponsorship for diploma students at TVET public institutions.
  5. Government also continues to expand the one-year Reception Programme, which is currently catering for 9,146 learners in 226 public primary schools. As of January 2016 these numbers will rise to an estimated 12,660 learners in 422 schools.
  6. Continued progress is also being made in upgrading Primary Teacher Certificate holders to Diploma in Primary Education. A total of 2,274 teachers have been trained since 2010, with another 823 currently under-going training. The intention of the programme is to eventually upgrade all teachers to a minimum of diploma level.
  7. Another key priority area is the utilisation of ICT as a means to improve teaching and learning, which calls for infrastructure and connectivity, as well as curriculum integration and the development and use of relevant content and software. Efforts made towards improving access to ICT include installation of Wi-Fi technology in 80 Secondary schools and upgrading computer laboratories in 62 of the 239 Secondary schools country wide. Government is committed to further improve classroom access to ICT by providing computers to over 100 secondary schools during the 2015/16 financial year.
  8. Madam Speaker, in an endevour to promote Government modernization within the education sector an open source system from UNESCO – OpenEMIS, has been adopted. It is a royalty free system with a free source code and no license and maintenance fees. The system will be used to automate processes across the ten ministries with education processes in order to track progress in the implementation of our education related Development Goals and other measures. As Botswana is the first African country to embrace this system, UNESCO is providing technical support for its effective implementation as a potential example to other countries in the region.
  9. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to report that the construction phase of the Academic Hospital under the University of Botswana was completed in December 2014. The equipping of the academic side of the hospital is in progress and the institution is expected to open in 2016.


  1. Madam Speaker, in today’s fast changing world sustained development is reliant on innovation arising from scientific and technological research. To accelerate the implementation of our 2011 Policy on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation Government is drafting a Bill to establish the structures to coordinate and fund future science and technology related research. In an endeavour to maintain up-to-date information on Research and Innovation, an online Research Information Management System (RIMS) is also being developed.
  2. Government is further enhancing an enabling environment for the uptake of science and innovation through various international collaborative initiatives. In 2014, the Botswana Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI) identified solar powered lighting as an area with wide ranging applications including street lighting, car parks, and mining zones. The street light has since been piloted in the villages of Diphuduhudu, Bere, Dukwe and Ngwatle with further expansion now earmarked for other areas across the country in the coming year.
  3. The Mineral Beneficiation programme of BITRI is also underway with the setup of a laboratory and pilot plant for Coal to Liquid (CTL) technology to facilitate research efforts that could lead to coal product beneficiation.
  4. Construction of the Botswana Innovation Hub Headquarters at the Science and Technology Park is still ongoing with the expectation that the Park will be officially opened in 2016.

PART 18: Governance, Safety and Security

  1. Madam Speaker, it is pleasing to once more note that over the past year various reputable international indices, [such as last month’s Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the Global Peace Index and the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, as well as various private risk and perception polling surveys, including those by AON, Verisk Maplecroft, Transparency International, Afrobarometer and the Economist Intelligence Unit], all underscore our countries continued high international as well as regional ratings when it come to issues of good governance, respect for the rule of law, safety and security, adherence to democratic norms and commitment to fighting corruption.
  2. Notwithstanding such accolades we cannot afford to be complacent, but must rather recognise the need for further improvement as well as constant vigilance to uphold our status as a global benchmark of good governance. To this effect, the Governance, Safety and Security Thematic Working Group held a series of meetings to deliberate on NDP 11 national priorities. Among the critical priorities they identified was the need to deal with emerging world trends on terrorism, human trafficking and cybercrime. Additionally, money laundering, border security, internal and transnational organized crime, fraud, aviation security and diamond security were some of the additional emerging security threats.
  3. To address these and other challenges Government has decided to develop a new National Security Strategy as a critical NDP 11 milestone. Here it may be noted that in a globalised world the potential threats to any nation’s security are as much economic and social as political and defence related. As such national security must be addressed holistically as it is a critical factor for ensuring domestic peace and prosperity. This underscores the need to ensure up to date human resources as well as infrastructure are in place to dealing with emerging security threats.
  4. With regards to the rule of law, we remain committed to modernizing our courts capacity to dispense timely as well as fair justice by leveraging on ICT, while further simplifying the rules of courts and reducing cost of litigation as well as the distance between litigants and courts service centres.
  5. The development of a new sentencing policy encompassing alternatives to imprisonment is near completion and should also soon be brought to Parliament.
  6. The Legal Aid Project, which commenced in April 2011, currently operates from the Attorney General Chambers in Gaborone and Francistown. Plans are underway for the further delivery of services in Maun, Tsabong and Kasane. Legal aid services are available to citizens in respect of a wide variety of civil law issues. The demand for these services has steadily increased. As at the end of May 2015, almost 12,000 applications for legal aid had been received in Gaborone and Francistown.
  7. Both the Legal Aid Act No. 18 of 2013 and its regulations have been brought into operation. The board of Legal Aid Botswana has been appointed and Legal Aid Botswana is transitioning to an independent statutory body separate from Attorney General’s Chambers. Subject to the availability of funds, Legal Aid Botswana will offer services in Gantsi and Palapye before the end of the 2016/2017 financial year.


  1. Madam Speaker, our Courts, through the various judicial reforms have managed to reduce the waiting period for completion of cases. In this respect the period under review has seen the introduction of a new Magistrates’ Court in Bobonong, with three additional courts coming up this financial year in Nata, Shakawe and Kang. In Kanye the construction of a new court house will commence this year, while the Broadhurst Magistrates’ Court is being expanded.
  2. The Judiciary has also continued in its effort to bring justice closer to the people through the introduction of initiatives such as the mobile traffic courts. The Special Courts for Stock Theft, Maintenance, Small Claims and Traffic have proved effective. Resources permitting, it is our intention to roll out these courts to all districts.
  3. The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) continues to discharge its mandate of prosecuting criminal cases in all common law courts of Botswana on behalf of the people of Botswana. In the year 2014-2015, the Directorate achieved eighty-six percent (86%) success rate for all the cases that had been tried in court. This high mark has been achieved despite such challenges as a shortage of skilled manpower.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government continues to resource the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to enable it to be in a state of readiness for any defence related contemporary threats that may threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and our national interests. With respect to online or cyber threats the BDF is working jointly with other government departments to address issues of cyber security. With respect to the protection of our flora and fauna the BDF will continue to collaborate with other Government and non-government stakeholders to minimise incidents of poaching.


  1. Madam Speaker, the Botswana Police Service continues its fight against crime. To this end, there is a continuous review and revision of legal frameworks, policing policies and procedures, resourcing and competencies to make them relevant to the changing public safety and protection challenges.
  2. As a result of such reviews a number of laws were enacted including the Counter-Terrorism Act, Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act, Forensic Procedures Act and the Anti-Human Trafficking Act.
  3. The crime fighting efforts of the Police Service rely heavily on tried and tested policing methods that include integration of visible policing, intelligence gathering as well as a strong public engagement programme to mobilize support for crime prevention initiatives. To this end, there has been a significant improvement over time in the incidence of violent and serious crimes.
  4. Rapid technological development has had a serious impact in policing the world over. Crimes involving digital computers, digital networks and/or material stored in digital form continue to pose the greatest challenge to modern policing. The modernisation of the Botswana Police Service has therefore become a priority for my government, to that end; the Botswana Police Service is in a drive to inculcate the use of technology in its business processes in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency of its service delivery.
  5. The Police Service is at an advanced stage in the process of introducing a Safer City programme in order to build capabilities for policing the city of Gaborone by means of closed circuit television technology. Such a programme will address the efficiency of the response processes as well as speed-up the investigation and detection of crime and it will be cascaded to other areas of need over time.
  6. Botswana has experienced a tremendous increase in the number of internet users. To this end a cybercrime and computer forensics function is being established within the Police Service and it is going to be fully capacitated in terms of laboratories, storage and security facilities including a highly skilled workforce. Government is therefore embarking on a large cyber investigation, cyber intelligence and cyber forensics capacitating process for the Police Service. This will be supported by the enhanced Cybercrime and Computer Related Acts which the Ministry is in the process of reviewing to bring it in line with developments in the cyber sphere.
  7. Guaranteeing safety in public spaces and reducing the fear of crime has been one of the prioritised performance outcomes of the Police Service. Consequently, initiatives such as the Police Volunteer Scheme, Special Constabulary and Cluster Policing remain relevant in the provision of visible policing. These cadres will continue to constitute a significant feature of policing in Botswana.
  8. The effectiveness of crime prevention however, can not only come from having police officers on the streets, it is also a consequence of meaningful collaborations between citizens and law enforcement. Members of the public have been able to mobilise themselves through their neighbourhood self-policing initiatives with the realisation that their security and that of their property starts with them.
  9. Madam Speaker, too many lives continue to be lost on the road especially of young and productive members of society, largely due to human error, over speeding and drunken driving. The number of casualties dropped from 24 per 100,000 in 2011 to 18 in 2014. Stringent measures have been put in place through, among others, the amendment of the Road Traffic Act.
  10. The Police Service has a bold law enforcement approach to road traffic law offending which is anchored on enforcement and education. There, however, still remains room for improvement for a mind-set shift towards understanding road safety not solely as a police issue, but also as a social issue demanding the interventions by all. To that end we shall continue capacitating the Botswana Police Service to deliver on the statutory obligations to road safety.
  11. As a further initiative children continue to receive education on road safety at a Children Traffic School in Gaborone. A Mobile Traffic School truck has also been acquired to serve schools that are normally unable to visit the Children Traffic School facility in Gaborone.
  12. Madam Speaker, the Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation remains committed to providing effective rehabilitation of offenders and improving security of prison installations. While overcrowding continues to be a problem in some of our maximum security prisons, it is pleasing to report that the majority of our prisons are now operating below their holding capacity. In June 2015, the average number of prisoners held in our prisons was 4108 against the authorized holding capacity of 4337 inmates.


  1. Madam Speaker, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship facilitates the movement of people in and out of the country. Given the importance of this function we are working towards improving the Department’s operational efficiency. In this regard, Government is developing comprehensive systems which will in future be integrated with other systems for consistency, efficiency and data integrity to facilitate on-line services especially for critical functions such as VISA, residence and work permits applications.
  2. Government has further introduced strategies to reduce passport fraud and promote integrity of travel documents. This amongst others includes contributing to the Public Key Directory, a software that has been developed by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to enhance security of travel documents and promote global interoperability. This will go a long way to help us fight fraud and forgery of passports together with cooperating countries.

PART 23: Civil and National Registration

  1. Government remains committed to maintaining an up-to-date National Register in accordance with the law. Currently, the National Register for Omang stands at 1,559,187 for citizens who are 16 years and above and 604,628 for those under the age of 16 years as per the National Birth Register bringing the total registered population to 2,163,815. This represents good progress and compares well with the StatisticsBotswana population projections of 2,195,134 for 2015. Efforts are continuing to register the few citizens who remain unregistered. On this note, my Government continues to embark on an intensified outreach programme particularly targeting the remote areas in an effort to improve uptake of registration services. In this endeavour, the Government is collaborating with the United Nations Agencies, the African Development Bank, USAID, Masiela Trust Fund and other local NGO Community to intensify registration.



  1. Madam Speaker, Government continues to provide labour administration services to the nation with a view to promote industrial harmony. These services include Labour Inspections, Trade Dispute Resolution, Industrial Relations, Workers Compensation, Employment Services as well as processing of Work and Residence Permits.
  2. In order to improve management of labour relations and dispute resolution, the Trade Disputes Bill has been published and will be tabled before this Honourable House. The Trade Union and Employers Organisations Act is also being reviewed.
  3. The Botswana Decent Work Country Programme continues to be implemented in an effort to promote rights at work; productivity; decent employment opportunities; social protection and dialogue. Implementation of the Programme has on review been extended from December 2015 to December 2017. The Programme will also facilitate the strengthening of Social Dialogue Structures and Processes in the country that are necessary for negotiations, consultations and exchange of information among representatives of government, employers and workers on issues of common interest.


  1. This year marks twenty years after the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the close of the Millennium Development Goals. It is my delight to inform you that in the 20 years, Botswana has made significant progress on Gender and Development. Gender mainstreaming has been adopted as a key strategy for the achievement of gender equality. This approach recognises that both men and wommen must be involved in the development process in order to effectively address the root cause of gender inequality for sustainable development.
  2. In recognition of the above, Parliament adopted the National Policy on Gender and Development on 7th August 2015. The Policy aims to reduce inequalities in opportunities and outcomes of social, economic, political, cultural and legal development for both women and men. The Policy further aims to establish a framework for implementing and institutionalising gender equality initiatives with strong mechanisms for coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
  3. In order to accelerate participation of women in the mainstream economy, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme has been reviewed to include individual women, women groups, community projects and cooperatives. Funding ceilings have also been revised to P100 000.00 for individuals and P500 000.00 for community projects and cooperatives. Efforts to support women in accessing markets will also continue.
  4. Regarding the elimination and prevention of Gender Based Violence, Government has developed a National Gender Based Violence Strategy (2014-2020) which outlines the multi-sectoral and multi-pronged approach.

PART 26: Construction Industry Trust Fund (CITF)

  1. In line with the CITF Strategic Plan, the centre has expanded the level of skills training during the financial year 2014/15 by introducing new skills training programmes such as coded welding, rigging, roof grass thatching and dry walling partitioning in order to reduce dependency on external recruitment of semi-skilled artisans. The Kazungula Mobile Training Unit (MTU) in the Chobe District is fully operational and is targeting mega projects and emerging related projects in the Chobe District by providing trained semi-skilled and skilled artisans.


  1. Government’s commitment to the eradication of abject poverty is reflected in its annual budget allocation of P160 million since 2012. The Poverty Eradication Strategy is now in place to better guide the programmes progress, while Government has committed itself to removing the current project backlog by the end of this year.
  2. Progress has been made in the development of the Kgalagadi Sand Building Block (KSBB); withthe first depot that will make the bricks being established in Tsabong. Government has designated four additional locations for the establishment of fully-fledged KSBB Depots under the Poverty Eradication Programme. Batswana are therefore encouraged to seize the business opportunities associated with the KSBB Technology.
  3. Government has identified land in Gantsi, parts of Central District, Francistown and other areas where boreholes will be drilled and equipped for beneficiaries to engage in horticultural production either as groups or Cooperatives. We are also embarking on grey (sewage) water harvesting to address the issue of shortage of water for horticulture and fish farming.
  4. Let me reiterate that, poverty eradication is an ethical, social, and economic imperative of our Government. We need every citizen, and our development partners to join us in this war against poverty. The nation is assured that the rollout of the program is being fast tracked to meet the set targets.


  1. Government is committed to continue provision of social protection services to different categories of people in order to have dignified and improved standards of living. These people, who are mostly vulnerable to economic conditions, are supported through our well known programmes.
  2. During the 2015/2016 financial year, financial resources in the sum of P1,267,952,390 have been approved to finance these programmes. As at June 2015, the Government was supporting 32,860 destitute persons, 102,492 Old Age Pensioners, 1,986 World War II Veterans, 1,229 Community Home Based Care patients, 32,803 Orphans and vulnerable Children. From April 2015, cash allowances were increased.
  1. Madam Speaker, we have introduced a Disability Allowance during the current financial year. In this regard payments started in August 2015, with those who have so far been identified as qualifying for the allowance, which is paid to people with severe disabilities to cushion the effects of disability. The identification of additional qualified recipients is ongoing.
  2. We have also concluded the consultations on the review of the Revised National Policy on Disabilities, which is to be presented to this session of Parliament. The policy will guide the implementation of disability services including, access to education, development of sport and sporting facilities, affirmative action and the employment and general economic empowerment of People with Disabilities.
  3. Since the approval of the Affirmative Action Framework for Remote Area Communities together with its 10 year implementation plan in July 2014, the number of people employed in the formal sector in RACs has increased.
  4. Madam Speaker, the budget for the Ipelegeng Programme was increased from P580,590,000 in 2014/2015 financial year to P635,590,000 in this financial year, partially due to the increase in the wage rate of beneficiaries. Funds allocated for this programme also support various initiatives such as Crime Prevention volunteers and Special Constables under the Botswana Police Service; Wildlife Volunteers and 100 monuments projects. Additional Ipelegeng Projects include environmental cleanliness, minor construction and maintenance of infrastructure. The monthly targeted beneficiaries are 64,191 people.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government continues to recognize access to adequate shelter as a basic need and a prerequisite for national socio-economic development. We shall therefore continue to ensure implementation of the National Housing Policy, as well as come up with new initiatives geared toward uplifting the status of housing for both public officers and the general public.
  2. In recent years the provision of public housing has been outpaced by demand. To pick up the pace, as part of ESP, Government has decided to accelerate the construction of 4,481 residences, which will include:
  • SHHA Turnkey Project
    • Public Housing
    • 500 Instalment Purchase Scheme Housing
    • Youth Housing
    • Home Improvement
    • Public Officers Housing Initiative; and
    • Third Party Housing
  1. The Low-Income Housing Programme will continue to focus on three components of SHHA Home Improvement, Turnkey Development Scheme and Integrated Poverty Alleviation and Housing Scheme. Government has increased the maximum income threshold for the Low-Income Housing Programme to P52,000 for both the SHHA Home Improvement and Turnkey Development Scheme. Government has further increased individual household’s maximum loans entitlement from P45,000 to P60,000 for the SHHA Home Improvement; and from P60,000 to P90,000 for Turnkey Development Scheme, effective the 1st of April 2015.
  2. Government has funded a total of 4,017 projects for SHHA Home Improvement. Of these a total of 3,155 have been completed, while 862 projects are still at various stages of construction. Government has also funded 3151 projects under the Turnkey Development Scheme, of which a total of 2,291 have been completed. The Integrated Poverty Alleviation and Housing Scheme and Destitute Housing Programme are also assisting less privileged Batswana to break out of poverty.
  3. It is pleasing to note that Government’s efforts to provide shelter for low income and destitute people is being augmented by non-government institutions and individuals. In this context I am further pleased to report that over 500 residences have now been built through the Presidential Housing Appeal for the needy, bringing us close to our target of 600 houses by the end of the year. Here I must thank all of those who have generously devoted their time as well as financial resources to this initiative.


  1. Madam Speaker, Government continues to strive to ensure that high quality health services are accessible and affordable for all in a sustainable manner. In this context our health services are undergoing a transformation that focuses on the delivery of quality care that is financially sustainable; which incorporates a revitalisation of primary health care as well as increased private sector participation.
  2. As part of our ESP we thus intend to upgrade 92 health facilities while continuing to upgrade our hospitals. In addition we intend to prioritise the construction of 534 additional staff houses.
  3. Our commitment to health access for all is further reflected in expansion of operation hours in clinics from 8 to 24hrs. Since 2014, 9 more facilities have now expanded operation hours bringing the total number to 48.
  4. Over the past five years, the health sector has performed relatively well on the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through comprehensively funded programs and interventions. Botswana is on track to achieving the MDG 4 target of reducing infant and under-five mortality.
  5. Government continues to introduce immunization campaigns such as the recent national roll-out of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine (HPV) for girls to prevent cervical cancer.
  6. Plans are also underway to introduce Inactivated Polio vaccine which is safer and eliminates the risks from earlier vaccines. This will be followed by the introduction of Measles Rubella vaccine in 2016.
  7. The child mortality rate has likewise been reduced from 76/1000 live births to 28/1000 live births in 2007 and 2011 respectively, and is projected to reach 21/1000 live births by the end of 2015.
  8. As a country, we have made strides in the prevention and management of major communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and Tuberculosis (TB). Malaria incidence has, for example, been reduced from 13.52 cases per 1,000 population in 2006 to 0.11 cases per 1,000 population during 2015, whilst deaths declined from 42 to 5 in the same period. We are thus very close to reaching our target of eliminating malaria by 2018.
  9. The TB notification rate has also been reduced from 511 per 100,000 population in 2006 to 337 per 100,000 in 2013. One must, nonetheless, emphasise that TB remains a major health concern.
  10. Non-communicable diseases are on the increase and account for about some two thirds of all global deaths. These include hypertension, diabetes, injuries, mental health and cancers. Risk factors that contribute to these diseases include physical inactivity, excessive intake of alcohol, tobacco smoking and poor eating habits. I therefore appeal to Batswana to reduce their risk by embracing healthy lifestyles.
  11. As at September 2015, a cumulative total of P1,867,586,562 has been collected from the alcohol levy. A 2012 evaluation of the impact of our alcohol reduction campaign interventions indicated that there was a reduction in alcohol consumption from 8 litres per capita to 7 litres.


  1. Madam Speaker, the mid-term review of the Botswana National Strategic Framework II (NSF II) has once more underscored the fact that behaviour change remains the key to stopping the spread of new HIV infections. As a strategy to help achieve this, Community Acting Together to Control HIV (CATCH) has been developed to galvanize community support in reaching the “zero infection” goal.
  2. Currently more than 90% of HIV positive persons that are eligible for Antiretroviral Therapy (ARV) are on treatment. In line with the 2013 World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, in April 2015 we extended lifelong ARV treatment to all HIV positive pregnant women regardless of CD4 count.
  3. We are at an opportune time for achieving HIV/AIDS epidemic control by as early as 2020. Taking into consideration international best practice, discussions are ongoing on how to best achieve epidemic control in a sustainable manner. The “Test and Treat” concept implies that every person who tests for HIV shall be put on treatment irrespective of their CD4 count. In addition to providing viral suppression, this form of treatment will also reduce HIV transmission. At this juncture I would like to appeal to our partners for their continued support as we move forward.
  4. In a further effort to achieve zero new HIV infections, discrimination and AIDS related deaths by 2016, Botswana became one of the three countries confirmed by the Guinness World Record in 2015 as having recently set the new record of the most people having tested for HIV in Multi-Venues in 8 hours. This is a positive move towards having 90% of all Botswana residents knowing their HIV status. With our current HIV testing prevalence of 63% there is still a lot more to be done.
  5. Here let me once more note that while we are firm in our commitment to providing for HIV/AIDS testing and therapy, the ultimate answer to stopping the spread of this terrible virus lies in us exercising self-discipline in our behaviour.


  1. Government has intensified support for youth businesses by putting in place reservations as part of affirmative action to improve their market participation by setting aside a certain percentage of tenders issued by government to youth companies. These exemptions have been communicated to all stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation. Youth empowerment is being further enhanced through capacity building in entrepreneurial skills andthe funding of youth businesses.
  2. Government remains steadfast in its commitment to promote positive mindsets and attitudes among young people to empower them to be responsible and self-reliant individuals with sound morals. We are thus collaborating with youth service organisations to help us further develop and deliver comprehensive Character Building Programmes targeting young people.
  3. Restructuring of the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) is complete and a new BNYC Board has been appointed.
  4. Madam Speaker, following its introduction in April, 2014 the Botswana National Service Programme programme has been doing well with an average monthly enrolment of 13,500. Enrolment in the National Internship Programme reached 6,196 as of July 2015, which was slightly above our target of 6,000. Out of these, 2,910 are working in the Public Sector, 1123 are with Parastatals, 1,855 are with the Private Sector and 308 are with non-government organizations.
  5. Art and culture programmes continue to grow in popularity. This year, a total of 14,125 performing artists and 3,337 visual artists were registered to participate in the President’s Day Celebration events. In the 2014-15 financial year artworks and crafts valued at P1,796,000 were sold by artists compared to P980,450 for the previous year. An action plan commenced in February 2015 to promote further stakeholder engagement in the production and marketing of crafts and artworks. Various national events such as Khawa Dune Challenge and Makgadikgadi Epic are in this context used as a platform to market Botswana arts and crafts internationally. Market days for Arts and Crafts have also been introduced in every district of the country.

PART 33: Library and Information Services

  1. Our public libraries continue to transform from conventional book collections to information centres through ICT. As a result their operational hours have been extended to cater for the popularity of their expanded services, which include ICT training as well as free internet access. The provision of free ICT services in libraries contributes towards bridging the technological divide in local communities. To date 64 public libraries provide free access to internet and 63,744 members of the public have been trained on Basic ICT to enable them to participate in the cyber space to improve their lives.
  2. Through the assistance of the Robert and Sara Rothschild Family Foundation the 13th library is under construction in Werda and should be operational before the end of this financial year.



  1. Botswana’s performance in sport is improving every year with our athletes in various sport codes excelling at Continental and World level competitions. In this respect we continue to be inspired by the achievements of our internationally competitive athletes. Altogether since April 2015 Botswana athletes have won 141 medals (49 gold, 44 silver and 48 bronze) in international competitions; including two world champions at the Commonwealth Youth Games and three African champions, Nijel Amos, Isaac Makwala and Kabelo Kgosiemang. The success of local athletes has attracted worldwide attention, while instilling national pride and unity.
  2. With the completion of the 26,000 seat Francistown Stadium we now have another venue capable of hosting major events. It will host the 4th edition of Botswana Games in December this year where over 3,000 young athletes from all over the country will compete.


  1. Botswana continues to play an active and influential role in shaping the global agenda in line with our national priorities and international norms. In today’s globalised world, where economies are increasingly intertwined, Botswana needs to work closely with the international community to ensure our survival and prosperity as a nation. We thus continue to add our voice, and support within our modest means where necessary, to the endeavours of all peace loving nations in defence and promotion of fundamental values of democracy, good governance, human rights, rule of law, sustainable development and international peace and security.
  2. Madam Speaker, among the various multilateral organisations we belong to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is of particular significance as our own wellbeing is ultimately intertwined with that of our neighbours. In August 2015 I began my one year term as the SADC Chairperson. My focus as SADC Chair is to give meaning to our commitments to industrialization and regional integration with a view to achieve sustainable development. In this respect I will be guided by the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020), which was approved at the SADC Extra-ordinary Summit held in Harare on 29th April 2015.
  3. Here it may be noted that notwithstanding some challenges in three countries, the political climate in our region is stable. We shall also continue to monitor developments in other parts of our continent, and make our modest contribution where we can. This is informed by our strongly held belief that for Africa to achieve economic development, it needs peace and security, as well as the consolidation of good governance.
  4. Botswana also continues to make a modest contribution towards the consolidation of democracy in the region. In this regard, we have participated in SADC Elections Observer Missions. The recent adoption of the Revised SADC Guidelines and Principles, Governing Democratic Elections in the region is a notable milestone.
  5. Botswana will continue to play her part as a compassionate member of the international community. Accordingly, we will continue to contribute to various appeals for assistance for victims of natural disasters, and participate in global efforts such as ongoing efforts to stem the spread of the Ebola virus. Continuing incidents of terrorism on the African continent are also a source of deep concern for us.
  6. Botswana further remains committed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and international Criminal Justice system. We will continue to support the ICC and cooperate with its operations. The drafting of legislation for the domestication of the Rome Statutes is at an advanced stage and should soon be brought before Parliament.
  7. Let me also take this opportunity to once more express my profound gratitude and appreciation to all Governments, International Organizations and individuals, for the valuable support and development assistance they continue to generously extend to our country.


  1. Madam Speaker before I conclude let me once again pay tribute to those institutions and individuals throughout our country who are devoting their time and resources to assist others. In this respect I wish to once more pay special tribute to the public officers across Government who since 2010 have been leading by example through their monthly participation in Community Service Day activities that continue to benefit literally thousands of their fellow citizens. Examples of the over 200 projects undertaken this past year include the construction and refurbishment of homes and other buildings, the upgrading of recreational areas, donations to deserving organizations, and direct support to families in need.
  2. I also wish to pay special tribute to dikgosi tsa rona, who remain the custodians of our customs and traditions. It is largely through them that we have maintained the inclusive culture of consultation in our development programmes and policy direction. They thus deserve our respect and gratitude for continuing to play a key role in our democracy.
  3. In keeping with this spirit of common purpose, let me here conclude my remarks by renewing my appeal for each and every fellow citizen to become part of our common journey to an even better Botswana. Government interventions will only succeed if they are understood as national projects to be embraced by all Batswana. While Government has a responsibility to drive key programmes such as ESP, EDD, Poverty Eradication and Youth Empowerment, their objectives in each case is ultimately about empowering citizens in the private and parastatal sectors along with other non-government stakeholders, to grasp the resulting opportunities for job creation and inclusive economic diversification for sustained development to take our country forward.
  4. To reiterate what I said at the beginning of this address as we prepare to enter our sixth decade we can either become more productive by working together to reach our goals; or we can allow individual interests and potentially debilitating divisions to rob us of further progress. Our nation can only achieve its full potential by working together. As I have said before we only have one country. Let us all try to be the solution to the problem rather than part of the problem.
  5. Finally let me end by once more calling on the Lord who makes all things possible to bless us along our path of progress and grant us rain.





Madam Speaker, I have the honour this afternoon to present to the National Assembly budget proposals for the financial year 2014/2015.

Madam Speaker, Honourable Members may recall that in April last year, the Mid-Term Review of NDP 10 was adopted by this House. The Review emphasised the importance of making strategic choices on revenue mobilisation and spending, while maintaining macroeconomic balance, so that we could continue building a productive economy that would provide sustained growth, employment creation, and reduce poverty. The Mid-Term Review and 2013 State of Nation Address, also underscored the importance of maintaining Government cash balances to allow for flexibility to run deficits by drawing down on accumulated balances without substantially increasing Government’s debt. In this regard, it is imperative that we re-build our net financial position in the coming years, so that we are ready to respond to negative shocks to the economy, when the need arises.

In preparing the 2014/15 budget, we have continued the tradition of consulting widely on the budgeting strategy including consultations with non-governmental organisations. Through these consultative fora, there was wide agreement that we must optimise the allocation of public resources by ensuring that available funds are only used for implementing national priorities. Furthermore, Government was urged to address shortcomings currently inhibiting growth of private sector investment and local industry development. To this end, macroeconomic stability, with supportive monetary and exchange rate policies, remain critical. In achieving economic growth, Government must also strike a balance between development initiatives and social cohesion and stability.

Madam Speaker, these budget proposals have been prepared within an environment of continued uncertainties surrounding the state of the world economy and their likely effects on the local economy. These uncertainties have made it imperative to focus on expenditure priorities, while avoiding erosion of the domestic revenue base. I will elaborate on those priorities later on when I consider the key thematic areas as well as the proposed budget for the 2014/15 financial year.

Madam Speaker, I shall now spend a few minutes reviewing the outlook for both the global and domestic economies.


Madam Speaker, recovery in the global economy continued to be weak during 2013, thus impacting negatively on the domestic economic performance. The world economic activity is projected to remain subdued, largely as a result of the slow pace of recovery in the euro area, as well as weaker domestic demand and slowing growth in some key emerging market economies such as China and India. According to the International Monetary Fund’s latest issue of the World Economic Outlook of January 2014, world output growth declined to 3.1 percent in 2012, down from 3.9 percent in 2011. It was projected to further decline to 3.0 percent in 2013, before recovering slightly to 3.7 percent in 2014, underpinned by the recovery in emerging economies. Despite losing some growth momentum, emerging economies were projected to grow, on average, by 4.7 percent in 2013, down from 4.9 percent in 2012, with prospects to reach 5.1 percent in 2014. However, advanced economies are expected to register a growth of 2.2 percent in 2014, representing a slight recovery from the 1.3 percent for 2013.

In response to this modest growth environment, policy makers around the world continue to maintain accommodative monetary and fiscal policy positions, with some committed to maintaining stimulus policies until there is evidence of sustained growth. Specific measures include: balancing the budget and reducing sovereign debts, as part of fiscal consolidation; undertaking further structural reforms to foster competitiveness of their economies in the medium to long-term; and maintenance of adequate liquidity support to the financial sector. These measures underlie the expected global growth rate of 3.7 percent in 2014.

Madam Speaker, due to trade interdependence with the rest of the world, the regional economic performance continued to be influenced by slow pace of recovery in the global economy. This is because most of the countries in the region including Botswana, still largely depend on the global economy as a market for their primary products. Therefore, to the extent that global growth remained weak, these economies grew moderately by 4.9 percent in 2012, compared to 5.5 percent in 2011, and are projected to have registered a growth of 5 percent in 2013 and 6 percent in 2014.

The importance of the global and regional economic performance to Botswana cannot be overemphasized. As a small open economy dependent on the export of primary products, mainly diamonds, Botswana is susceptible to economic developments in the major and emerging economies. My Ministry will therefore, continue to monitor developments in the world economy, with a view of determining their likely impact on the proposed budget and suggest mitigating measures where necessary, particularly to comply with our fiscal rule. However, I remain optimistic that the global and regional growth forecasts will be realised, thus obviating the need to adjust our proposed budget for the next financial year.

Madam Speaker, the overall economic performance of the SADC region was not satisfactory in 2013, largely due to a sluggish growth in the global economy that I have alluded to. Economic growth in the region averaged 5.0 percent in 2012 compared to 5.4 percent in 2011, which is much less than the regional target of 7 percent. Further, the region was projected to have slowed down to 4.9 percent in 2013. On the other hand, the average inflation rate of 7.2 percent was recorded for the region in 2012, the same rate attained in 2011. For 2013, average inflation rate was expected to have decelerated to 6.3 percent.

Madam Speaker, the SADC region continues to face challenges, particularly in the area of trade facilitation. To this end, the region will enhance border efficiencies by harmonising operating hours at adjacent borders where operating hours are different and to also implement the one stop border post programme at some borders. In the case of Botswana, this entails alignment of hours of operation at Kazungula border and the establishment of a One Stop Border Post at the Mamuno/Trans-Kalahari border between Botswana and Namibia.


Madam Speaker, in real terms, growth of the domestic economy decreased from 6.1 percent in 2011 to 4.2 percent in 2012, due to reduced real output of the mining sector. The mining sector, which now accounts for 20 percent of GDP, registered real declines of 2.3 percent in 2011 and 7 percent in 2012, reflecting the continued weak demand in the advanced and emerging economies, which are the major markets for our diamonds.

In the Water and Electricity sector, the cost of inputs exceeded the value of sales, resulting in negative growth. This was mainly due to the challenges arising from the delay in the commissioning of Morupule B Power Station, which resulted in a shortage of domestic power supply, and increased costs of imports from South Africa.

However, Madam Speaker, the negative performance of the Mining, and Water & Electricity sectors during 2012, was partly offset by the high performance of some non-mining sectors, which collectively registered a positive real growth rate of 6.2 percent in 2012, compared to 7.8 percent recorded in 2011. Among the non-mining sectors that registered high growth rates were: Construction at 14.4 percent; Social and Personal Services at 12.2 percent; and Finance and Business Services at 11.0 percent.

Growth in these non-mining sectors shows progress in economic diversification. It is worth noting that, unlike the mining sector, even during the 2008/09 economic down-turn, the non-mining sectors showed resilience, with most of the sub-sectors attaining positive growth rates. Targeted investment in the non-mining sectors therefore seems to have potential to sustain economic growth even during hard times. In some cases, such as in Water and Electricity, where heavy losses have been incurred, it will continue to be necessary for Government to invest in them, mainly to secure supply because these are essential inputs to other economic sectors.


Madam Speaker, price stability is a necessary condition for promoting competitiveness of the domestic industry, which, in turn, contributes positively towards the broader national objectives of economic development and employment creation. I am pleased to report that domestic inflation rate declined from 7.4 percent in December 2012 to 5.8 percent in June 2013, and declined further to 4.1 percent in December 2013, which was within Bank of Botswana’s objective range of 3 – 6 percent. The lower inflation reflects the base effect of the increase in some administered prices in 2012, as well as the general slowdown in price increases in 2013 for the restaurants and hotels, transport, and clothing and footwear categories.

As a result of the positive medium-term inflation outlook for the domestic economy, Bank of Botswana pursued an accommodative monetary policy during 2013, reducing the bank rate by a cumulative 200 basis points, from 9.5 percent in March 2013 to 7.5 percent in December 2013. Consistent with the sustainable long-term growth of the economy, and also closely aligned to inflation levels in major trading partner countries, the prospects for low inflation remain positive for 2014. Important to note is that an environment of low and predictable inflation allows for positive real interest rates which, in turn, foster mobilisation of financial savings and productive investment.

(PART 5) Balance of Payments and Foreign Exchange Reserves

Madam Speaker, preliminary estimates of the balance of payments for 2013 indicate a surplus of P7.9 billion in the current account, compared to a deficit of P4.3 billion in 2012. This is largely due to the increase in receipts from the Southern African Customs Union, and the increase in diamond exports. Total exports increased by 55.1 percent, from P47.8 billion in 2012 to P74.2 billion in 2013, reflecting growth in sales of diamonds and other minerals. Imports on the other hand rose more slowly by 20.7 percent, from P65.7 billion in 2012 to P79.2 billion in 2013. A significant increase in the import of power from South Africa to meet domestic demand following the technical challenges experienced by the Morupule B Power Station was however moderated by a decline of 26.1 percent in the imports of Machinery and Electrical Equipment. With the positive current account balance, the preliminary estimates of the overall balance of payments in 2013 show a surplus of P4.7 billion, compared to a deficit of P862 million for 2012.

A positive balance of payments also led to the recovery of the foreign exchange reserves in Pula terms. At the end of December 2013, the reserves amounted to P67.6 billion, equivalent to 16.5 months of import cover of goods and services, an increase of 14 percent from P59.3 billion in December 2012. The increase in foreign exchange reserves reflects mainly the net foreign exchange inflows and the depreciation of the Pula against major international currencies. In SDR terms, the foreign exchange reserves were unchanged at SDR5 billion at the end of December 2013, while in US dollars, they rose by 3 percent to USD7.8 billion. Of the total reserves, Government share, accounted for P25.7 billion or 38 percent, in December 2013, compared to P18.4 billion in December 2012.

Exchange Rate Movements

Madam Speaker, as one of the policy instrument available to Government, management of our exchange rate policy continues to focus on maintenance of the country’s competitiveness. Of late, it has become public knowledge that the value of the Pula is determined by a basket of currencies comprising of the South African Rand with a weight of 55 percent, and the SDR with a weight of 45 percent. To maintain a competitive exchange rate, the focus is on the real effective exchange rate, which is the inflation-adjusted exchange rate of the Pula against currencies of the major trading partner countries. This means that, any significant divergence between the level of inflation in Botswana and the average inflation for trading partner countries would lead to the appreciation or depreciation of the real effective exchange rate, if it is not offset by the rate of crawl against the basket.

In this regard, the real effective exchange rate appreciated moderately in 2013, reflecting the higher inflation in Botswana relative to the level of inflation in our trading partner countries. However, with prospects for low domestic inflation in the medium term, I am confident that the real effective exchange rate will remain broadly stable to ensure competitiveness of domestic industries that aim to export to the regional and international market.


Madam Speaker, despite the subdued global environment, the outlook for the domestic economy remains positive. Real GDP is projected to grow by 5.4 percent in 2013 and by 5.1 percent in 2014 driven by the expected growth in some non-mining sectors such as Trade, Hotels and Restaurants and Finance and Business sectors. The relocation of the Diamond Trading Centre from London to Gaborone by end of 2013 is expected to contribute positively to the prospects of growth of the domestic economy, despite the weak external diamond demand. On the downside, growth in the Agriculture sector, which is a major contributor to rural livelihoods, is projected to slow down due to recurring droughts and a constrained market outlet for the sector, especially for the beef sub-sector.

Going forward, the continued uncertainty over the performance of the global and domestic economies, which form the basis of our revenue assumptions and forecasts, calls for caution in determining the appropriate level of expenditure that will ensure fiscal sustainability in the medium to long-term. There continues to be uncertainty over the prospects of our two major revenue items of minerals and customs and excise, due to sluggish recovery of the world market, and the on-going negotiations of the SACU revenue sharing formula. Of late, the two sources have accounted for over 60 percent of total revenue and thus, any shock to any or both of these sources would have a bearing on the level of available revenues and likely expenditure for the next financial year.


Madam Speaker, state owned enterprises or parastatal organisations can play a major role in promoting economic growth. Over the years, the parastatal sector has grown both in quantity and complexity, and hence, the need to revisit the strategic role they play in the development of this country.

The overall performance of the parastatal organisations during the past year was mixed, with some performing satisfactorily, while others incurred losses. Some of those which performed satisfactorily during the financial year 2011/12 include the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, which recorded a net profit of P375.6 million and the Botswana Development Corporation which recorded a net profit of P143.3 million, despite the challenges with some of its projects. The National Development Bank also recorded a net profit of P45.7 million, despite the depressed economic growth and a heightened competition from new entrants in the banking sector. Similarly, the Botswana Savings Bank also achieved a net profit of P18.6 million reflecting a significant increase in interest income occasioned by the high uptake of unsecured personal loans, and the impact of cost containment measures during the period under review.

However, for various reasons, other parastatal organisations under-performed during the same period. The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) was one of those that recorded a huge loss of P1.652 billion in 2011/12, following a loss of P796.6 million recorded in the previous year, due to operational challenges at Morupule B Power Station. As a result of technical problems that delayed commissioning of the Morupule B Power Station, BPC was forced to undertake emergency power supply. Such measures included the use of diesel fuelled generators and continued import of power from South Africa to complement domestic power supply. All these increased BPC operational costs thereby requiring Government funding support.

The Botswana Meat Commission also registered a loss of P290.9 million in 2012, following another loss of P233.5 million in 2011. The low performance for the year 2012 was attributable to the delisting of BMC from the European Union market, as well as the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the North East District.

Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that state owned enterprises played a major role in the development of our economy, especially in the earlier years after Independence. However, I believe that the role of state owned enterprises in the development of this country should continue to complement that of Government, given the limited resources at the disposal of Government. In this regard, it is important that these organisations are managed efficiently and effectively for them to contribute to sustained economic growth.

I therefore wish to highlight some of the measures that Government will be pursuing to ensure that the parastatal sector continues to contribute to economic growth of this country. First, Government will continue implementation of the privatisation policy in order to reduce the burden on the fiscus. As it would be clear from the budget proposal, Government subventions to these organisations have grown substantially over the past few years most of which have gone towards payment of personal emoluments.

Progress has been made in merging some parastatals. The process to merge Botswana Postal Services and Botswana Savings Bank, for example, is scheduled to be concluded by March 2014. This follows the passing by Parliament in December 2013 of the Botswana Postal Service Amendment Bill and approval by Cabinet of a Holding Company, the Botswana Post and Savings Group Limited, under which the merger will operate. Parliament also passed the National Development Bank Transition Bill in December 2013 to facilitate privatisation of the National Development Bank as part of increasing its efficiency and promoting citizen economic empowerment.

Second, Government will be working on guidelines for the operation and management of existing organisations. The Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) has already started drafting guidelines to be used by Government in overseeing performance of parastatals and monitoring overall implementation. The oversight responsibility of parastatals will be decentralised to line Ministries. Relevant Accounting Officers will have overall accountability for ensuring that their Ministries implement the guidelines, with regular reports submitted to the Productivity Improvement Committee (PIC Force) and Cabinet. Furthermore, Government is currently preparing the Privatisation Master Plan II. The main objective of the Plan is to identify services and Public Enterprises that are suitable for privatisation during the period 2014 to 2019 as well as to enhance guidance for the rationalisation of parastatals.

Madam Speaker, given the increased budgetary pressures, Government will be applying strict criteria for the creation of new parastatals, as a measure to contain growth in grant subventions to these organisations. In addition, Government will continue with its efforts to reform the governance structures of these organisations to give accountability to both their Boards and management with clear performance targets. All these measures will allow Government, as a shareholder, to contain costs and demand reasonable returns on equity invested in these organisations, as well as in terms of their contributions to economic growth and employment creation.


Madam Speaker, Government remains concerned about the poor performance by some private contractors in implementing Government projects as well as the future cost of maintaining such facilities. In addition, over the past years, the development budget has been under spent, on average by 15 – 20 percent per year, which denies Batswana the necessary services. To address some of these issues, Government has put in place stringent measures to deal with defaulting contractors who provide services to Government. In this regard, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (Suspension and De-listing of Contractors Amendment Regulations), and the Code of Conduct for Contractors, became operational in March 2013. These legal instruments give Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board the power to suspend and delist contractors who do not honour their contractual obligations with Government.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology has established a Project Management Office to oversee monitoring and control of all infrastructure projects. Additional interventions include the drafting of new legislation, and amending some existing Acts for the construction industry professions, such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors. This will facilitate self-regulation, protect public interest and ultimately lead to improved service delivery.


Madam Speaker, we are left with less than two years to the end of the Millennium Development Goals period, and about three years to reach Botswana’s long term vision, Vision 2016, which also coincides with the end of the Tenth National Development Plan or NDP 10. Further, the recently approved Mid-Term Review (MTR) of NDP 10 identified some challenges, which Government promised to tackle through budgets of the remaining years of this Plan period.

Since this is the first budget after approval by this House of the MTR of NDP 10, I would like to discuss seven broad themes which are instrumental in addressing these challenges. These themes are: Growing the Economy and Employment Creation; Improving Productivity and Sustaining Sovereign Rating; Investing in Infrastructure Development to Support Economic Growth; Investing in Human Resources to Support Sustainable Growth; Enhancing People’s Welfare and Livelihoods; Strengthening Judicial System and Combating Crime; and Strengthening Local Governance. These themes are by no means exhaustive in terms of what is required to address all the challenges identified in the MTR of NDP 10. However, I believe that, with clear strategies, and resource allocation to programmes and projects in some of these thematic areas, we can see progress in economic growth, employment creation and sustained development.

(PART 10) Growing the Economy and Employment Creation

Madam Speaker, we need economic growth, if we are to address some of the development challenges facing this country. Government can promote inclusive growth by adopting appropriate policies and strategies to encourage domestic and foreign direct investment, and also investing in strategic sectors that facilitate the development of the private sector. The recent positive growth rates in some non-mining sectors are welcome developments as they reflect some success in our economic diversification efforts. Moreover, these non-mining sectors have greater potential for employment creation. Government will thus, continue to devise strategies to promote inclusive growth in the non-mining sectors of; Financial and Business Services, Construction, Agriculture, Tourism, and Manufacturing.

Financial and Business Services

Madam Speaker, among the non-mining sectors with potential for growth and employment creation is the financial and business services sector. Over the past few years, this sector has continued to register positive growth rates, underpinned by a stable banking sector characterised by adequate capital levels, good asset quality and sufficient liquidity. The banks’ total assets, for example, stood at P60.4 billion as at end of September 2013, compared to P57.8 billion as at end of September 2012. The number of commercial banks has also increased from 11 to 13 following the licensing of two banks in 2013. Furthermore, the year 2013 was characterised by an increase in banking business distribution channels such as branch networks, automated teller machines, points of sale machines, mobile-phone and internet-based banking services. Moreover, in an effort to reach out to a wider clientele, banks continued to strengthen their strategic partnerships with mobile network operators to provide financial services to the unbanked population given the wide penetration level of mobile phones.

Efforts to improve on the efficiency of this sector include the expansion of electronic payments. In this respect, the relevant systems, such as the Electronic Clearing House and Botswana Interbank Settlement System, are being monitored by Bank of Botswana to ensure that they meet the important public policy objectives and attributes of safety, efficiency, stability and integrity. In addition, Government continues to promote the development of the domestic bond market. This is in recognition of the critical importance of a well-functioning capital market to promote the private sector as an engine of economic growth. In this regard, the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has facilitated the registration of the Botswana Bond Market Association, which was registered in September 2013. Its mandate is to promote standardised and competitive bond market conventions as well as enhancing awareness of the importance of savings and investment.

The Botswana Bond Market Association will begin formal implementation of its mandate in 2014 in collaboration with Botswana Stock Exchange to resolve structural issues impeding bond market development, with a view to promoting efficiency and liquidity of the bond market. A liquid bond market provides a conducive environment where the private sector can raise capital for investment spending, and where investors can participate in economic development by investing their savings in entities such as debt instruments. It is also pleasing to note that investment by individual citizens in the banking sector through the stock exchange increased from 3 percent of overall investment in 2008 to above 10 percent in 2013.

Madam Speaker, despite the relative good performance by the financial services sector, there remain some challenges, as identified in the 2012 Financial Sector Development Strategy study conducted in collaboration with the World Bank. The study identified several strategic objectives that include: maintaining a robust framework for financial sector stability; promoting competitive and cost effective access to finance; promoting financial access for the underserved, low income, and non-salaried cohorts. My Ministry is working with the relevant stakeholders to continue implementing some of the recommendations of the study which will address issues of financial inclusion and result in improved access to financial services, as well as enhanced service delivery by the banking system. Meanwhile, another financial sector reform is the recent passing of the Building Societies Amendment Bill that is expected to facilitate demutualisation of building societies.


Madam Speaker, the construction sector has been one of the fast growing sectors in the recent past, with potential to create employment. However, there are two limitations to the extent to which this sector can contribute to sustained economic growth and employment creation. First, the construction sector in Botswana continues to rely on Government budget for growth, which is not a sustainable situation because Government is facing uncertainties with respect to revenue prospects which are based on the continued weak external demand for diamond exports. This means that the construction sector has to find alternative ways of sustaining its growth in the medium to long term.

Second, the nature of employment opportunities in the sector is such that a significant number of jobs are created during the construction of some big projects, only to be reduced when the projects are completed. Therefore, an individual’s job in this sector is transitory. A boom-bust cycle for the sector cannot lead to a reduction in the rate of unemployment in the economy. However, a steady stream of construction projects can serve to sustain employment. To this end, the proposed development budget for the next financial year contains a substantial construction component.


Madam Speaker, another sector with potential for growth and employment creation is Agriculture. Unfortunately, the performance of this sector has been dismal due to inadequate rainfall and recurring drought. This has presented a great challenge to growth of this sector, which by nature, is a highly labour intensive undertaking with potential to absorb a majority of the unskilled to semiskilled unemployed citizens. Despite the challenges of constrained growth associated with natural disasters such as drought and diseases, Government continues to assist the agricultural sector. The Livestock Advisory Centres, for example, continue to sell some livestock feeds at subsidised prices. In addition, Government is seeking to secure additional markets for the beef industry, with promising prospects in the Middle East and Zimbabwe. Under arable farming, different types of farmers have been identified as subsistence, emerging and commercial. Assistance to these farmers will be targeted, depending on their situation.

In addition, the horticulture sub-sector has also been boosted by the inclusion of irrigated farming under Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD), where farmers contribute 60 percent while Government contributes 40 percent towards the costs of installing irrigation equipment. Meanwhile, the design of the main water conveyance pipeline from Chobe/Zambezi to the Zambezi Agro-commercial Project site was completed in October 2013 and construction is expected to commence during 2014/15 financial year. Upon completion, the project will contribute significantly to irrigated agriculture particularly horticulture. Government assistance is aimed at encouraging production in the agricultural sector, but most importantly, to graduate more farmers into commercial entities capable of creating decent jobs for Batswana.


Madam Speaker, the tourism sub-sector of the trade, hotel and restaurant sector has potential for growth and employment creation. In this regard, efforts continue to be directed towards broadening the tourism base in terms of geographic location and product diversification such as cultural tourism. The Community Based Natural Resources Management Policy (CBNRM) has continued to bear fruit in terms of development of sizeable projects that are non-wildlife based, thereby diversifying the tourism product to include culture, heritage sites and monuments in less developed tourism destinations. Tourism projects such as Goo-Moremi Resort, Seboba Nature and Recreation Park in Kasane, Lepokole Nature Reserve, amongst others, have a community ownership dimension with potential to increase employment in rural areas.

Madam Speaker, despite sluggish growth in the manufacturing sector in Botswana, the sector has potential to contribute towards economic growth and employment creation. Therefore, through efforts by agencies such as Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), Government will continue to promote domestic and foreign direct investment into the sector and provide targeted fiscal incentives to major manufacturing projects to enhance value addition and competitiveness of their products. To this end, development strategies for the leather, dairy, textile and clothing subsectors were completed during 2012/13 financial year as part of Economic Diversification Drive. The focal area of the leather industry strategy is the proposed development of a leather industry park, whose bankable feasibility study is being awaited. The dairy industry strategy will focus on transforming the industry into a competitive and profitable industry through investment in productive dairy support infrastructure.


Madam Speaker, to achieve growth in some of the non-mining sectors requires investment, both domestic and foreign. Such investments can only take place in a stable macroeconomic environment and improved productivity. Unfortunately, the latter has been falling in recent years. Botswana cannot compete for foreign direct investment, nor can its products compete in the international export markets without improving its productivity.

With regard to sovereign rating, both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s have maintained Botswana’s investment grade sovereign credit ratings with a stable outlook. The ratings reflect the strong financial position of the Government attributed to prudent fiscal policies and the long record of political stability. The assessments also noted that the authorities’ response to uncertainty in the recovery of the global economy was effective, and engendered confidence that the country will continue to respond appropriately to economic challenges. However, the rating agencies have noted that, the economy continues to be vulnerable to shocks, which could reduce asset buffers in the form of government savings and foreign exchange reserves. To enhance competitiveness and doing-business in Botswana, Government in collaboration with the World Bank is implementing several projects under the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Programme that include: improvement of the business environment by streamlining business registration, licensing and issuance of permits; establishment of an e-Government policies and standards; and capacity building to support Monitoring and Evaluation of the national strategies and policies.

In all the sectors that I have just reviewed, the overall ease of doing business is a critical ingredient. According to the latest Doing Business Index rating by the World Bank, Botswana moved to position 56 out of 189 countries, compared to position 65 out of 185 countries in the 2013 rating. Similarly, the 2013/14 Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum shows that Botswana has improved from position 79 out of 144 countries to position 74 out of 148 countries. The improvement in the rankings was largely consistent with the macroeconomic fundamentals such as attaining a balanced budget resulting in increased national savings and national credit worthiness. Botswana is also strong in the category of having reliable and transparent institutions.


Madam Speaker, one of the necessary conditions for private investment is the availability of a well-functioning infrastructure. In this regard, Government will continue to develop key infrastructural facilities, with a view to providing service to the citizens, and also, as a strategy to promote private sector investment that is necessary for growth and employment creation. Further, Government will continue to focus on the creation of a conducive environment for private sector investment, by investing in key projects and programmes such as serviced land, energy, water, transport and communications. These inputs are key stimulants to other sectors of the economy and will therefore continue to receive a larger share of the budgetary resources.

Madam Speaker, one of the critical inputs to any productive investment is power supply. In this regard, Government continues to strive to maintain adequate power supply in the country, despite the relatively high cost of providing it. Whereas the development of Morupule B Power Station was expected to transform the country from being a net energy importer to near self-sufficiency, continued technical problems have created uncertainty over the availability of power supply in the short to medium term. While the effects of the shortage of power supply on the economy have not been assessed in a systematic way, it is expected that it has had a negative impact on growth. In addition, it has slowed down the Government’s village electrification programme.

In recognition of the importance of power supply to economic growth and ordinary lives in general, Government has taken short and medium term measures to mitigate the impact of power supply shortage on the economy. It is in this regard, that a significant allocation has been made under the proposed 2014/15 budget to BPC to enable the Corporation to not only operate and maintain its existing power infrastructure, but to also put up new transmission lines. In addition, the on-going rural electrification programme that involves expansion of the infrastructure and village network is expected to increase access to electricity from the current 68 percent to 80 percent of households by 2016.

In the medium to long term, measures to address the growing demand of power include the development of Brown Fields for Morupule B, which will be units 5 and 6, with an estimated power generation of 300MW; and development of the Green Field, with an estimated 300MW. In addition, a bankable feasibility study of a 100MW concentrated solar thermal power station has been completed. Furthermore, Government is working on the expansion of the national grid to provide services to villages, agribusinesses, mining and tourism facilities. To this end, Government has budgeted P300 million for the construction of the Northwest Transmission Grid and Rakola Sub-station to provide power to the Northwest region and augment power in the South eastern region. Government will continue to ensure increased access to electricity from local sources, but this comes at a high cost and as such, it is expected that electricity tariffs will be periodically adjusted accordingly, to reflect the economic cost of supplying power.

Madam Speaker, in order to ensure security of supply of petroleum products, a national oil company, Botswana Oil Limited, has been formed and started operation in July 2013. Government has also commenced preliminary activities to construct Tshele Hills fuel storage at an estimated cost of P750 million. Upon completion, the facility will store 150 million litres of fuel and increase the supply cover from the current 18 days to 60 days. Such an initiative has the potential to enhance security in the operations of industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and transport from disruptions of oil and petroleum supplies.


Madam Speaker, another critical ingredient to economic growth is water. Due to recurring drought, Botswana has in recent years been experiencing water shortages countrywide for both human and agricultural use. In this regard, Government has had to undertake measures that included the development of water infrastructure such as dams and water pipelines. Furthermore, Government continues to exploit alternative water sources, such as effluent waste water utilisation, grey water recycling, rain water harvesting to name but a few.

Further, a comprehensive National Water and Waste Water Policy, which represents the first step in a process to ensure that water is properly positioned to meet the needs of the nation, has been developed and approved by Cabinet in 2012 and will be submitted for approval by Parliament during 2014. The Policy will allow for development of National Water Conservation Strategy, which will ensure proper utilisation of water resources. Government is also developing an Integrated Water Resource Management Plan. The Plan will facilitate the development of processes, procedures, methods and options for full integration of water resources management and development options.


Madam Speaker, over the years, Government has invested in transport and communication infrastructure, as this was necessary for growth and improved standard of living. Some businesses need to move their goods within the country, from places of production to the consumers, while others need to export them to outside market. A well-developed transport and communication system is therefore critical in ensuring competitiveness of our local producers in international markets. In addition, the development of the road network has opened up the country’s hinterland, thus improving access to social facilities, such as hospitals. Further, the expansion of the communication network, especially the mobile cellular, has improved doing business in the country.

Given the strategic importance of this sector and to ensure reasonable return on private investment, Government will continue to allocate resources to the sector and introduce new policies. In this regard, a National Integrated Transport Policy has been developed and is being processed for approval. The Policy will define the transport system in terms of the infrastructure, operations and management of all different types of transport. It will also in part drive the Integrated Transport Project (ITP) which is anticipated to improve the transport industry and provide substantial benefits to users, suppliers and operators.


Madam Speaker, provision of serviced land is a prerequisite for many types of investment, which involve building of factories. Shortage of serviced land has been identified by investors and some external agencies as a constraint to investment. To improve delivery of serviced land, Government is in the process of developing guidelines for a Public Private Participation strategy in land servicing. The implementation of the guidelines is expected to start during 2014/15 financial year. In addition, plans are currently underway to carry out high density and high value developments in certain prime areas of Gaborone aimed at optimising the use of serviced land.

In the meantime, Government has embarked on the exercise of national land registration through the Land Administration, Procedures, Capacity and Systems (LAPCAS) project, whose aim is to capture data on land rights and parcels. It is expected that, apart from improving land management, this exercise will enable tribal land holders to use their land as collateral and thus enhance borrowing for investment in productive activities. Furthermore, the approval of Town and Country Planning Bill in April 2013 has led to a review of the current Land Tribunal legislation so that it caters for planning appeals. The intention is to commence implementation of both the Revised Town and Country Planning Act and the Land Tribunal Act at the beginning of the 2014/15 financial year.


Madam Speaker, to foster economic growth and for investment to flourish, necessary service facilities are required. Since its inception, the Botswana Innovation Hub remains committed to promoting science, technology and innovation to contribute positively towards economic development and diversification. To date, the Hub has registered 27 innovative businesses and institutions to its membership. These include both international and local high technology companies, academic and research institutions, start-ups and strategic leverage partners to develop the Science and Technology Park.

In addition, Government established the Botswana Fibre Networks Ltd (BoFiNet) as a separate organization responsible for provision of national and international telecommunication. While this is a major milestone in privatisation of Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC), it will also address the challenges with respect to internet connectivity, particularly the bandwidth. BoFiNet will focus on improving the backbone network. Further, Government is funding the optic fibre reticulation of the diamond trading park to specifically ensure that our diamond customers have access to information and communication technology for doing business in Botswana.


Madam Speaker, the availability of trained labour force is critical to private investment, which is necessary for economic growth. A skilled workforce contributes to the overall productivity of the economy, which is necessary for its competitiveness. It is for this reason that Government has continued to invest in human capital development as a part of its strategy for promoting sustainable economic growth.

Madam Speaker, over the past years, Government has allocated about a quarter of the total budget to education and skills development in recognition of the importance of human capital development to the economy of this country. This trend will continue in the next financial year, as an estimated 29 percent is proposed for allocation to this sector. However, the sector continues to face some challenges, which include the quality and relevance to the job market requirements of the skills obtained. In this regard, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) bills were passed by Parliament in August 2013 and the two agencies are to start operations during the course of this calendar year. Further, the Botswana Examination Council Act is also being reviewed to be aligned to the HRDC and BQA and its new mandate will include moderation and assessment of vocational education and training to ensure that they are responsive to the labour market needs.

Madam Speaker, a healthy labour force is a productive workforce. In this regard, Government considers investment in health as part of human capital development necessary to support economic growth. Hence, Government has, over years, invested substantial budgetary resources in the health sector. Such investments have not only led to improvement in the country’s social indicators such as life expectancy, but also contributed to the availability of a healthy workforce. Government will continue to invest in maintaining the existing stock of human capital by, among others, provision of improved health services and making available resources for treatment of conditions such as Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

To this end, the Revised National HIV and AIDS Policy was approved by Parliament in August 2013. A major shift from the previous Policy is that the age of consent for HIV testing is now 16 years instead of 21 years. A major threat to gains in combating HIV and AIDS is the decline in donor funding. This means that Government will be facing increasing financial responsibilities to fill in the financing gap.

Despite these challenges, additional measures will continue to be undertaken in order to improve on the delivery of health services on a sustainable basis. In this regard, Government has revised the National Health Policy, and the process of developing a Health Financing Strategy is underway. Such a strategy will propose alternative ways of funding the health care system in the country given the continued budgetary situation. In addition, the strategy will explore ways to contain costs in the health delivery services and promote efficiency. Some of the specific areas that will form part of the strategy will include: Public Private Partnership in Health Services; Raising Revenues for Health; and Finding Efficiencies in the Delivery of Health Services. The Public Health Act has also been revised, to make it more relevant to the current developments in health care industry in terms of strengthening regulations and guidance in the delivery of health services.


Madam Speaker, the 2011 Population and Housing Census pointed to two issues relevant to human capital development, which are migration and change in population structure. With regards to migration, the Census noted that the number of non-citizens in the country almost doubled from 63 000 in 2001 to 111 846 in 2011. On the positive side, the presence of non-citizens in the country augments the local skills and therefore contributes to growth. However, with prevailing high unemployment, there is need to balance the importation of such skills and the need to train locals for skills that are in short supply. In that way, Government would ensure that any employment opportunities created by private investment in different sectors of the economy contribute to the reduction of unemployment in the country.

The 2011 Population and Housing Census also indicated that, of the total population of 2 024 904 persons, 43 percent of the population was aged below 20 years, while 35 percent was aged between 20 to 40 years. Such a population structure poses a challenge for human capital development in terms of resources required to train the youth, but also in terms of creation of employment opportunities to absorb them in the labour market. However, as indicated in successive budgets, Government has demonstrated its commitment to the development of human capital by providing substantial resources for training and skills development, as evidenced by the annual budgetary allocation to the education sector.

In addition, a number of short term measures have been adopted to improve on the skills of the young people, and also provide temporary employment for them. Such measures include: entrepreneurship development and promotion; Life Skills Development; Mentorship; Behaviour Change and Character Building; and Information and Communication Technology enhancement. These initiatives are expected to prepare the youth to take advantage of any increase in gainful employment opportunities.


Madam Speaker, poverty remains a major development challenge in Botswana. This situation has continued to weigh down on the country’s Human Development Index (HDI), which is a composite measure of the quality of life comprising of indices of life expectancy, education and income. On a scale of zero to one, with 1 indicating best, Botswana’s HDI increased from 0.587 in 2000 to reach 0.634 in 2011, which indicates an improvement in the country’s standard of living. While quality of life has improved, challenges still remain, particularly in the eradication of abject poverty.

Therefore, Government will continue to provide resources for social welfare programmes such as destitution allowances, school feeding programmes and other programmes aimed at the vulnerable groups in society. In addition, the Ipelegeng programme will continue to provide temporary relief to the unemployed. Similarly, the recent streamlining of the ISPAAD is an effort to improve on the effectiveness of some poverty eradication programmes. Under the new guidelines, for example, subsistence farmers are going to enjoy 100 percent subsidies on fertilizers, soil testing, hybrid seeds and herbicides, provided they adopt modern ploughing methods such as row planting and harrowing.

However, despite Government’s commitment to the goal of poverty eradication, it is important that social welfare programmes are regularly evaluated lest they create a dependency syndrome. In this regard, Government will remain vigilant about the long term sustainability of funding of social welfare programmes to ensure that they contribute to increased economic activity and benefit the intended target groups. Therefore, it is Government’s objective that people should graduate from such programmes as they are only meant to provide a basis for improving people’s skills and livelihoods.

In addition, in August 2013 Government approved the Local Procurement Scheme, whose objective is to empower the youth, people with disabilities, women and rural suppliers and service providers, through public procurement preferential treatment. Government has also taken the decision to introduce a social safety net in the financial year 2014/2015 which will target People Living with Disabilities. The safety net will be means-tested so that it benefits only People Living with Disabilities who do not have any means of survival. Furthermore, affirmative action has been adopted to employ graduates with disabilities. To date, 38 of the 63 who have applied to the Directorate of Public Service Management have been placed in permanent employment. The Revised National Policy on People Living with Disabilities will also streamline provision of services to People Living with Disabilities such as access to information, education and land.


Madam Speaker, a well-functioning judicial system and low crime environment are some of the prerequisites for a conducive environment for private sector investment. Therefore, the courts can play a central role in market economies by providing fair, predictable and timely decisions in the disposal of cases. Government is committed to strengthen both the judiciary and the security agents to ensure that Botswana remains a safe destination for investment. Furthermore, in an effort to improve the overall efficiency of the courts and to speed up court processes across the country, digital recording of court proceedings has been installed in the new Gaborone High Court and is already operational.

With a view to ensuring a low crime environment, Government will continue to provide appropriate resources to the security agencies, especially the Botswana Police Service. To enhance effectiveness of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime to deal with and combat corruption, the Corruption and Economic Crime (Amendment) Act No. 6 of 2013 has been put into effect as of July 2013. The amendments to the Act include new sections covering the abuse of office, expanded conflict of interest, and intimidation of informers. The successful implementation of these and other complementary legal tools such as corruption audits is expected to help reduce government funds that are lost through corruption practices such as; insider trading, dubious land allocation, acquisition and procurement irregularities, and financial fraud. Besides loss of government funds, an environment characterized by high crime tends to discourage foreign direct investment, which is necessary for economic growth and employment creation.


Madam Speaker, Government is currently drafting regulations that will guide the operations of Village Development Committees as well as govern property ratings in major urban villages. The drafting of these regulations is expected to be completed in March 2014. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is in the process of preparing the Local Economic Development Policy Framework to guide districts in developing their local economies. The policy framework is expected to be in place by June 2014. Implementation of the policy framework will commence as a pilot exercise in 4 districts of Chobe, Francistown, Kgalagadi and Sowa. The pilot exercise will undertake economic assessment of different localities and develop strategies according to their local economic comparative advantage.


Madam Speaker, the budget outturn for the 2012/2013 financial year was an overall budget surplus of P922 million, compared to the estimated surplus of P835 million in the revised budget estimates. This result was mainly due to under spending in the development budget. Total revenue and grants amounted to P41.66 billion in 2012/13, representing a decrease of P253 million or 0.6 percent from P41.91 billion in the revised budget estimates. The decline in total revenues was due to the under performance of the non-mineral tax revenue which amounted to P6.73 billion, a decrease of P1.15 billion or 14.6 percent as a result of under performance of the VAT revenue.

Total expenditure and net lending in 2012/13 amounted to P40.74 billion compared to P41.08 billion in the revised budget, representing an under spending of P339 million or about 0.8 percent of the revised budget. Of the total amount, recurrent expenditure was P32.11 billion compared to P31.77 billion in the revised budget estimates, representing an increase of 1.1 percent. Development expenditure on the other hand stood at P8.3 billion, representing an under spending of P1.08 billion or 11.5 percent of the revised budget.

Madam Speaker, I now turn to the Revised Budget Estimates for the financial year 2013/14. The 2013/2014 revised budget shows an estimated surplus of P386.16 million, down from the original estimate of P779.3 million. Total revenue and grants increased by 3.1 percent, from P44.02 billion in the original budget to P45.43 billion in the revised budget estimates, due to an increase in the Bank of Botswana revenue. This is as a result of capital and exchange rate gains realized during the rebalancing of the portfolio to align it with the revised investment strategy for the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
The revised total expenditure and net lending for 2013/2014 is estimated at P45.04 billion, representing an increase of 4.1 percent over the original budget of P43.24 billion. This was due to a significant increase of over 10 percent in the development budget through supplementary budgets. Among the major beneficiaries of the increase in the budget were: Ministries of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources with P1.10 billion for support to the energy sector; and Agriculture with P105 million for drought relief.


Madam Speaker, I now present the budget proposals for the 2014/15 financial year. Since this is the first budget following the adoption of the Mid-Term Review of NDP 10, I wish to underscore the importance of consolidating and realigning our expenditures in order to achieve the goals and aspirations of Botswana’s long term vision, Vision 2016. This is particularly important as the preparation of this budget took place under an environment of uncertainty with respect to global economic outlook, which has a bearing on the domestic economic performance in general, and revenue prospects in particular.

In this regard, the budgetary allocation priorities for the 2014/15 financial year, as indicated in the Budget Strategy Paper, will include: maintenance and efficient operation of existing infrastructure, funding key economic infrastructure such as water, energy, and communications to support growth, completion of on-going projects, and funding of social welfare programmes such as the poverty eradication programme.

Revenue and Grants

Madam Speaker, the projected total revenue and grants for 2014/15 amount to P50.18 billion; comprising of Customs and Excise at P15.97 billion or 31.8 percent; Non-Mineral Revenues (Income Tax and VAT) at P15.66 billion or 31.2 percent; and Mineral Revenue at P15.24 billion or 30.4 percent. The proposed budget indicates that all the three major sources of revenues registered significant growth over the revised budget of 2013/14: Customs and Excise increased by 14.3 percent; Mineral Revenue by 13 percent; and Non-Mineral Revenue by 11.1 percent. A further breakdown of the growth in Non-Mineral Revenue reveals that Income Tax and Value Added Tax are expected to grow by 6.7 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively, over the 2013/14 revised budget estimates. The increases in the individual revenue items reflect, in part, the impact of the forecast modest recovery in the growth of the domestic and global economy.


Madam Speaker, the proposed Ministerial recurrent budget for financial year 2014/2015 is P33.32 billion, which represents an increase of P2.79 billion or 9.1 percent increase over the 2013/14 revised budget of P30.53 billion. Of this proposed Ministerial recurrent budget, over 70 percent is allocated to four Ministries of Education and Skills Development, Health, Local Government and Rural Development and Defence, Justice and Security.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development is allocated the largest amount of P9.26 billion or 27.8 percent of the Ministerial recurrent budget to cater for, among others, additional funds required to implement the re-grading exercise for teachers approved by Government in 2013, as well as subventions to some parastatals such as the University of Botswana and the Botswana International University of Science and Technology. The Ministry of Health gets the second largest share of P5.22 billion or 15.7 percent of the Ministerial recurrent budget to cover the costs of additional manpower requirements for new health facilities, ARV therapy, and maintenance of medical equipment and health facilities.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development receives the third largest share of P4.90 billion or 14.7 percent, mainly to cater for terminal benefits for Councillors, augment the maintenance vote for Local Authorities, and the budget for Tribal Administration. The fourth largest share goes to the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security with an amount of P4.18 billion or 12.5 percent to cater for maintenance of equipment and vehicles for the security forces, as well as for new positions and vehicle replacement. The fifth largest share of the Ministerial Recurrent Budget of P1.95 billion or 5.9 percent goes to the Ministry of Transport and Communications to cover, among others; increase in provision for purchase of bulk fuel and lubricants, subventions to Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana and BoFiNet.

The other Ministries that are allocated significant amounts of the Ministerial Recurrent budget are: Agriculture with P968.16 million or 2.9 percent; State President with P946.1 million or 2.8 percent; Trade and Industry with P871.54 million or 2.6 percent; Youth, Sports, & Culture with P757.31 million or 2.3 percent and Lands & Housing with P735.97 million or 2.2 percent. The rest of the Ministries share the remaining portion of the Ministerial recurrent budget.

(PART 28) 2014/2015 Statutory Expenditure

Madam Speaker, in addition to the Ministerial recurrent budget, Government is obliged to make provisions for payments of Statutory Expenditure, which are mandated by various statutes. The proposed budget for Statutory Expenditure is P5.54 billion, which is an increase of P800 million or 16.9 percent over the revised budget of P4.74 billion, due to commencement of principal repayments of some of the major loans secured during the financial crisis.


Madam Speaker, the proposed development budget for the 2014/15 financial year is P12.24 billion, a marginal increase of 0.99 percent over the 2013/14 revised budget of P12.12 billion.

The largest share of the proposed development budget of P3.55 billion or 29.0 percent, is allocated to the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. The major projects that constitutes 97.4 percent of the Ministry’s budget are: Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) Finances at P2.05 billion to cover BPC operational and maintenance cost at P1.5 billion, North-West Power Transmission line at P200 million, Emergency power supply at P140 million; Rakola substation at P100 million, Morupule A and B at P60 million, and ZIZABONA at P50 million; North-South Water Carrier II from Dikgatlhong Dam to Palapye, as well as from Palapye to Gaborone at P600 million; completion of Dikgatlhong and Thune Dams at P200 million and P100 million, respectively; emergency water projects at various locations at P200 million; Kanye-Molepolole connection to North South Water Carrier at P100 million; construction of sewerage systems for Kanye and Molepolole at P80 million as well as the Oil Storage project amounting to P50 million.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications at P1.875 billion or 15.3 percent of the development budget has the second largest share. The major projects under this Ministry are: Tonota-Francistown Road project at P150 million; Kazungula Bridge at P100 million; cash injection to Air Botswana amounting to P330 million; Air Transport Infrastructure project at P390.4 million; and development of ICT Facilities including broadband and backbone infrastructure at P300 million.

The third largest development budget allocation of P1.271 billion or 10.4 percent goes to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. Among the major programmes under the Ministry are: Ipelegeng at P580.59 million; Village Infrastructure, amounting to P220 million; Primary School backlog eradication at P220 million; as well as fire engines and equipment at P50 million. These projects account for 82.7 percent of the Ministry’s development budget. The rest of the ministries share the remaining half of the proposed development budget.


Madam Speaker, total revenues and grants for the financial year 2014/15 are forecast at P50.183 billion, whilst total expenditure and net lending are forecast at P48.857 billion, resulting in an overall budget surplus of P1.326 billion, or 0.97 percent of forecast 2014/15 GDP.


Madam Speaker, achieving fiscal sustainability in the medium to long term remains one of Government’s objectives to create a conducive environment for private sector development in the country. To achieve this, Government will continue to implement the fiscal strategy focusing on three areas of: expanding the revenue base; restraining overall expenditure; and focusing attention on quality investments.

Government continues to make efforts to expand the revenue base and further simplify the tax regime. During the financial year 2014/15, my Ministry will present to Parliament amendments to the Income Tax Act and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. Specifically, the VAT Act will be amended to exempt all farming equipment and all basic food staff which are currently zero rated. To encourage intake of balanced meals for families, the list of basic food items will be increased to include, among others, vegetables, rice and milk. In addition, the VAT registration threshold will be increased from P500 000 to P1 000 000 in order to relieve small tax payers on the burden of regularly filing VAT returns. These amendments are geared towards simplification of the tax laws and tax administration and to encourage compliance. We will also present to Parliament, amendments to the Transfer Duty Act, which are meant to encourage homeownership, especially by first-time home owners.


Madam Speaker, as I mentioned in the 2011 Budget Speech, the adoption of the Public Service Act 2008 shifted advice on the determination of Public Service salaries increase from the National Employment, Manpower and Incomes Council (NEMIC), to the Public Service Bargaining Council made up of representatives of the Government as the employer, and Public Service Trade Unions representing the employees. Consequently, Government is not in a position to make an announcement on Public Service salaries at this stage. However, we encourage the Bargaining Council to proceed expeditiously with negotiations, taking into account the budgetary constraints imposed by uncertainties in the economic outlook of both the global and domestic economies as stated earlier in this Speech.


Madam Speaker, this budget has been prepared in a context of uncertainties regarding the recovery of the global economy. Besides these uncertainties, our economic review and outlook point to the fact that Botswana was able to contain the effects of the global financial crisis reasonably well largely because we were able to drawdown on our accumulated Government balances, and borrow from domestic and international capital markets using our good credit rating. However, in the process, we ran significant deficits for the first three years since the crisis. Going forward, Government intends to run moderate surpluses which should enable us to restore those balances and repay accumulated debts.

Hence Madam Speaker, Government’s economic strategy, in the face of the uncertain global economy, is to promote the development of private sector activities by: maintaining macroeconomic stability; investing in high return projects; and undertaking structural reforms to promote efficiency throughout the economy.

By extension, our fiscal strategy recognises that two of our main revenue sources, namely Mineral and SACU revenues, are volatile, and will ultimately decline as a share of GDP. These facts have two major implications. First, in any given year we must set Government expenditure at a sustainable level, and not necessarily spend every Pula of available revenues. Second, we must ensure that the fundamental revenue base is not eroded by dispensations such as special concessions and/or tax holidays unless these are to effectively result in increased job creation opportunities and revenue generation. At the same time, Government is committed to streamlining the tax system, so that as far as possible every taxpayer finds it easy and simple to comply with his/her tax obligations.

Madam Speaker, the key thematic areas for the coming financial year follow from the Mid Term Review of NDP 10, which was approved by this House in April 2013. In each of these thematic areas, Government has established priorities, while taking into account the multiple links across programmes and projects. Inevitably, this means that not every Ministry or thematic area was able to undertake all that they intended to do in terms of programmes and projects. Rather, every Ministry has had to focus on its core responsibilities in relation to national priorities and identify ways in which it is able to accomplish more within its budget allocation. In this way, we can look forward to sustained development that promotes economic growth and social stability. I wish to underscore the point that the development budget for 2014/15 of P12.24 billion is a significant amount to be spent in a single year. A substantial part of this amount will be spent on mega programmes such as Primary Schools Backlog Eradication, which will take place throughout the country, North-South Water Carrier Phase II and North West Power Transmission Line. This is an effort on the part of Government to further stimulate the economy and it is indeed a great opportunity for the private sector to take advantage of this Government initiative.

Madam Speaker, I wish to express my appreciation on behalf of the Government for the valuable assistance offered by our bilateral and multilateral development partners, as well as private foundations. Their technical and financial support towards achieving our development initiatives will continue to be essential in enhancing the livelihoods of Batswana.

Madam Speaker, I now move that the Appropriation (2014/2015) Bill, 2014, No. 1 of 2014 be read for the second time.


OSISA 2   Akina Mama

Akina Mama wa Afrika in partnership with the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) invites applications to the 2nd Feminist Facilitation Workshop scheduled to take place from the 22nd -26th of April in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The training aims to strengthen the capacity of young women leaders in Southern Africa who already have a firm grasp of the principles and ethos of feminist leadership, to equip them with the practical skills to train others at national levels. The training will also enhance the skills of the trainees in organisational development, as a strategy to enhance agency in women’s movements in the southern Africa region.


Applicants who meet the following criteria will be considered:

  1. Must be a young woman of between 25 and 40 years of age;
  2. Must have undertaken the OSISA and IPLG Young Women’s Feminist Leadership Course
  3. Be a citizen and resident of the following three SADC countries: Angola, DRC, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana Malawi
  4. Must have attained or is studying towards a qualification from a recognized tertiary institution
  5. Have at least 2 year work experience working in an organization or program related to gender equality or women’s rights;
  6. Currently employed, or working in an area where feminist or gender policy advocacy and lobbying is important;
  7. English proficiency is critical (the course will be delivered in English only)
  8. Demonstrate commitment to participate for the duration of the full course.


Young women who wish to apply for the training course are required to submit the following:

  1. A concept note not more than three pages (single-spaced) addressing the following:
    1. Describing the problem you seek to solve through training other young women in feminist leadership
    2. How you plan to implement the stated Action Plan above
    3. The expected outcome of the Action Plan  and how it will benefit other young women from Southern Africa
  2. Completed application form (attached at the end of this document);
  3. Commitment form to be completed by employer (attached at the end of this document).

Attached is the full call for applications Call for Applications – Young Women’s Feminist Facilitation Workshop

***Deadline for receipt of applications is 22nd February 2014***


Social Good Summit 2013

The youth constitute almost half the world’s population and as current and future leaders it is essential to involve them in discussions that map the way forward towards a prosperous, productive and innovative nation. To this end the United Nations Development Programme co-hosted the Social Good Summit in New York from 22-24 September, 2013. The summit coincided with the UN General Assembly and was broadcasted globally in Social Good Meet-ups.

In Botswana, Botswana Innovation Hub in conjunction with the UNDP hosted the Social Good Summit Meet-up at the Microsoft Innovation Centre Laboratories. The theme for Social Good Summit 2013 was, “2030 Now” and participants and members of the global community attempted to address the question of where are we to go by 2013, and how can digital tools help us get there?

Daily News, 04/10/2013, Pg 19

The Voice Newspaper, 04/10/2013, Pg 15

social good summit (2)

For more info

The African Women Leadership Academy Mentorship Program Launch


The African Women Leadership Academy is a non-profit making organisation, which was registered ion the 5th ofMay 2010 under the directorship of Dr M. M. Gilika. It was created to empower young women and girls through networking, mentoring and leadership skills training. It has developed a leadership training programme focusing on character and confidence building, enhancing self-esteem, and resilience building, which may contribute to exceptional school performance and general life skills empowerment for the youth.

TAWLA’s mentoring programme pairs a youth with a caring, responsible mentor, who is trained to focus on trust building, encouragement, and positive reinforcement to inspire and motivate the mentee to achieve personal goals.


  • Acquire skills, open new doors, increase confidence and self- esteem
  • Enhance career and life skills
  • meeting and networking with the right people which can lead to opportunities
  • access to a support system during critical stages of college and career development
  • clear understanding and  enhancement of academic and career development plans
  • ability to develop mentoring relationships in industries where mentoring is not readily available
  • exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences
  • a lasting career network


  1. Director of Ceremony
  2. Welcome remarks
  3. Key note guest speaker: REMARKS BY USAID DIRECTOR
  4. Mentoring Presentation: 
  5. Reflection by Mentee: REMARKS BY A MENTEE
  6. Reflection by Mentor: REMARKS BY A MENTOR
  7. Vote of Thanks

WSILA2013 Preconference Session 08 September 2013

Powering Africa

Young Women’s Session facilitated by Akili Dada

This introductory session was a great opportunity to meet conference participants and manage the expectations of the participants. The session facilitated by Wanjiru from Akili Dada started off with a networking session in the form of a ‘speed dating’ activity. The room full of women from across Africa both young and seasoned leaders got to introduce themselves and share on what one hopes to get out of the conference.

The participants were grateful to have this platform to learn, share and build long lasting friendships that will help promote women’s leadership in governance participation, conflict management and justice processes.

In group work tips on how one could best thrive i.e. learns, connect and enjoy participating in an international conference of this magnitude were discussed. The following are tips an individual attending an international conference should pay attention to in order to ensure maximum benefit;

  • Know what you want to achieve when attending an international conference, what is your purpose of attending the conference;
  • Study the programme before hand. Do prior research on the topics to be discussed and definitely the speakers/ facilitators.
  • Active participation, be involved- body, mind and soul in the conference. Take part in discussions and do not be hesitant to ask any questions should the need arise.
  • Bring in fresh ideas; do not be skeptical to say something new no matter how ridiculous it may sound.
  • Don’t be shy; we are all here to learn from each other. Feel free to share your opinion.
  • Do not judge, be open-minded and respectful of others.
  • Be ready to learn. Take time to also listen to others.
  • Use social media to disseminate information gathered at the conference.
  • Exchange contacts with others and keep in touch after the conference to facilitate for future project collaborations.

Thank you to the following partners for making this conference possible; Urgent Action Fund Africa, Akili Dada, OSISA, Fordfoundation, Women Empowerment Link, UN Women, African Women’s Development Fund, UNFPA, Young Women’s Christian Association Malawi, Africa Development Altenatives, FAS, The African Capacity Building Foundation, JASS, YWCA, Akina Mama Wa Afrika



The First Woman from Botswana to visit the Antarctic

On the Edge of the Extreme

International Antarctic Expedition 2013

The International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) is a 14-day excursion of the Antarctic Peninsula for a select group (40-70) of aspiring international leaders led by Robert Swan and his team of Antarctic and leadership experts.

The Focus

The expedition has the dual purpose of educating the participants in environmental issues and sustainability as well as leadership, teamwork and action. Participants explore the extraordinary and harsh Antarctic environment whilst simultaneously partaking in Robert Swan’s Leadership on the Edge Program.  The unique Antarctic experience aims to build personal leadership skills, inspire change and create committed global educational and environmental ambassadors.

The Alumni

Many of the IAE’s alumni share their Antarctic experiences and personal stories at seminars, conferences and schools worldwide to advocate for environmental action and awareness.  Notable achievements include:

  • Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi’s (IAE 2010) contribution towards launching an official campaign to lobby the Ajman Government of the United Arab Emirates to become the first Middle Eastern country to sign the Antarctica Treaty.
  • Jesse Baker (IAE 2009) founded a non-profit, Ecofficiency, which aims to reduce waste and pollution by advancing an ethic of consumer responsibility.
  • Richard Dunne (IAE 4 & 5 team member) received the Ashden Award for his ongoing work to reduce his school’s carbon footprint.
  • Wendy Gediman (IAE 2008) created the ‘Environmental Club 2041’ at her school, TASIS, in England.

Africans to have participated in the program include:

  • Kylie O’Donoghue of South Africa (2009)
  • Michael-Donovan Ezielo of Nigeria who aims to become the first West African on Antarctica in IAE 2013.

Our Leader: Robert Swan, OBE

Robert Swan is a British polar explorer and an active leader in global environmental preservation and sustainability. He has attained a BA Honours in Ancient History from Durham University (UK) and a Doctorate of Letters from the Robert Gordon University (UK). Robert was the first person in history to walk to both the North (1989) and South (1986) Poles and has been awarded numerous accolades (Polar Medal 1987; UN Global 500 award 1990; Officer of the Order of the British Empire 1995; the Smithsonian Award for IT in Education and Academia 1998) as well as been appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for both UNEP (1989) and UNESCO (1992). He has led numerous UN global initiatives for sustainable development, set-up a world first education station in Antarctica solely reliant on renewable energy (E-base) and founded the Robert Swan Foundation charity (1993) that aims to promote youth and scientific endeavour in the environment.  Robert is a world-renowned expert on leadership and motivation and first ran the International Antarctic Expedition with his company, 2041, in 2003.

My Story: Lillian Nkosazana Moremi

My name is Lillian Nkosazana Moremi and I am the Coordinator of Dūcere Foundation, Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. My passion is to inspire and educate the youth on leadership and environmental issues in my country. I am about to join a team of men and women in “Leadership on the Edge” program. In doing so I shall become Botswana’s first female to travel to the Antarctic to fly the Botswana flag for peace, leadership and learning.

The Opportunity

This opportunity is quite extraordinary as it allows me to explore and consider the extremes of two worlds. My leadership of Dūcere Foundation Botswana, a charitable organization committed to grooming future leaders in Africa is a natural evolution of my role as founder and career coach of an educational non-profit organization called Botswana Student Network Society.

My Passion

I am passionate about education, “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” as stated by the remarkable Nelson Mandela. I graduated from the University of Cape Town with an Accounting degree. During my varsity days I struggled to identify where my true passion lay.  Eventually my involvement in extra-mural activities helped me to identify my passion of which is engaging in learning and leading-based activities as well as events management.

Spirit to Change

From a very young age giving back to society, in the form of my time or the little bit of cent I gave to a homeless or needy person, has always been my first love. My love and care for the underprivileged communities build me into a responsible social entrepreneur which catapulted me to start the non-profit student organization run by students across Botswana. My voluntary work with Botswana Student Network Society helps in motivating the youth of Botswana about positive responsible living as a new generation. With a group of inspired youth volunteers we facilitate career guidance and motivational talks, public speaking workshops, leadership seminars. One of the goals of the organization is to facilitate environmental awareness campaigns and talks amongst the youth hence my involvement with the Antarctic expedition is very crucial.

My Work

As the Co-ordinator of Dūcere Foundation Botswana, we work in partnership with the highest levels of African government in transforming public school systems in Africa. By establishing education principles and practice unparalleled in philosophy, design, innovation, problem solving and engagement with industry, we ensure that children are provided with the opportunity to live, learn and grow into tomorrow’s leaders. In leading the team of mentors, I come face to face with change management every day. The environmental awareness initiatives borne out of the Antarctic experience will further empower my involvement with organizations in Botswana that are passionate about youth development, particularly in the area of environmental awareness issues, to make a long lasting impact not only in Botswana but the rest of Africa by collaborating with other African youth organizations.

My Excitement

Can you imagine? I am excited to attend the 2013 “Leadership on the Edge” program as I believe this experience will expose me to the world I have never seen before. I will learn a lot about environmental issues from a global perspective and ways of engaging schools and their communities to solve global-warming matters. This experience will not only help me expand my knowledge of environmental matters but will enable me to be a change agent through my work across Africa.

My Commitment after the Antarctic Expedition;

  • Collaborate with schools across Botswana and the rest of Africa to encourage students to develop their own environmental projects and become Tomorrow’s Leaders;
  • Raise awareness through media engagement;
  • Write a book about my experience focusing on motivation, leadership, teamwork and personal development.

My Gratitude

So far I would like to thank Robert Swan and his team, Dūcere’s Founder Mat Jacobson, my colleagues and my family for their support. To my potential sponsors, I would also like to thank you in advance for your kind gesture of supporting a vibrant young lady who is full of potential and hungry for learning and experiencing different cultures and places.


Antarctic Expedition – A journey of a lifetime. Indeed like Eleanor Roosevelt stated – the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.