Botswana secures big loan

Oleosi Kgosi
NEW DEAL: Minister Serame and Dr Alkhalifa

Last Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance signed a loan agreement with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development.

The loan, worth US$100 million (just shy of P1.29 billion) is to finance the Botswana Programmatic Economic Resilience and Green Recovery Programme.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame explained the overall objective is to support Government’s efforts by strengthening its pandemic and crisis response, addressing the regulatory constraints for private sector recovery as well as building the foundations for a sustainable green economy.

“I would like to express my gratitude, on behalf of the Government of Botswana, for your continuing efforts to help drive our developmental agenda,” she said.

- Advertisement -

Serame added that following the sharp decline in economic activity associated with lockdowns and other Covid-19 enforced restrictions, the Government Investment Account was significantly drawn down due to budget deficits.

Highlighting the country’s long history with the OPEC Fund, Serame revealed it was a highly fruitful relationship that dates back to 1977.

Developments completed thanks to previous loans include upgrading and expanding the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in 2008, the Middlepits-Bokspits Road project in 2009, and, more recently, the Botswana Integrated Transport Project (BITP) in 2019.

Addressing the assembled audience, Director General of OPEC Fund, Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa relayed the finance institution’s pleasure at being given the opportunity to be part of Botswana’s recovery strategy.

“The provision of the loan is mainly to assist the country on the recovery side but also to enhance policies directed towards the developments,” he noted.

- Advertisement -

Furthermore, Alkhalifa revealed the OPEC Fund for International Development was established in 1976 and is currently working with more than 135 countries around the world.

Leave a comment