Botswana invest $2.7 million in Africa50

Baitshepi Sekgweng
SEALED: Minister Serame and Ebobisse


Government of Botswana has committed an amount of $2.7 million(Approximately P33.5 million) as an investment in Africa50 to become a country shareholder.

However, the agreement will not only be about Botswana enjoying dividends but there will be cooperation with regards to funding of projects in a public private partnership (PPP) model. The partnership between Botswana and Africa50 has been seen as a commitment by government to pursue and ensure sustainable economic development.

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Africa50 was established to help bridge Africa’s infrastructure funding gap by facilitating project development, mobilizing public and private sector finance and investing in infrastructure in the continent .Speaking at the signing ceremony of the agreement ,Minister of Finance Peggy Serame said the partnership will bear much fruits for Botswana therefore it is worth more than securing a financier for national development programmes.

“We have challenges as an economy, we are probably one of those countries with the best plans more especially national development plans. But we are also known for struggling with implementation ,so in our efforts to improve that and results we get from public investment programme, we have been looking at a number of approaches which is to improve and enhance implementation. We also had to look to approaches ,methodologies and everything that can help us move where we at,” said Serame.

As a result, Serame said they have identified Public Private Partnerships as one way to implement projects efficiently and effectively. “It will not just give us the financing but aid in capacity that might not reside in government. So for a number of years PPP has been approved as an approach to use by government to improve implementation.

We have seen our Government Investment Account going down more especially post Covid-19 so that’s why we have to look for partners to help finance our projects. What’s more attractive about Africa50 is that they are good in areas where we have been struggling such as project preparation and structuring .

We don’t have a lot of experience and capacity to structure projects in a way they will be attractive to partners out there. Even if we have to do PPP model they have to be attractive. But Africa50 is experienced in project structuring ,a capacity we don’t have. We have seen couple of projects included in national development plans and even allocated budget but never took off because it was preparation and selection which did leave a lot to be desired. So this partnership with Africa50 will help with project preparation, structuring and selection especially in PPP projects,” said Serame.

Before the end of this financial year, it is expected that Africa50 and Botswana will work on one project to showcase progress of the partnership. However priority areas are the renewable energy space which is deemed to have much potential and infrastructure development which has been having a deficit over the years.

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“This partnership demonstrate commitment and desire to accelerate delivery of sustainable economic infrastructure in the country using the PPP framework. This is going to be constructive partnership that will help Botswana strengthen its fold as Africa’s most forward moving country. We are interested in investing in Botswana’s strategic priority projects including solar energy ,driving digitalization and extending transport and logistics network to connect to the region,” said Africa50 chief executive officer Alain Ebobisse.

This all comes at a time in which Botswana is under the transitional national development plan (TNDP) which will go on for a period of two years from April 2023 to March 2025.Already the TNDP had a budgetary estimate of P64.07 billion with priority areas being developing sources of economic growth, human capital development, social development and use of natural resources.

Africa50 focuses on medium to large scale projects that have development impact and offer an appropriate risk adjusted return to investors, further bringing project development and financing together and supporting every development stage of the project cycle.

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