Economists at Econsult firm have expressed concern at
Botswana’s weakening performance on key global indicators
of competitiveness and overall business climate.
In a recently published economic review of the last quarter
of 2018, economists at the firm, led by former Bank of
Botswana Deputy, Dr. Keith Jefferis, noted that this
persistent downward trend has been visible for the last
As far as global competitiveness is concerned, Botswana is
reportedly on the decline, as the recently released World
Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report for 2018
The report ranked Botswana 90 out of 140 countries, the
nation’s worst ranking since the report was launched in
In doing business rankings, Botswana was ranked 86 out of
190 countries in 2018.
This marks a drop of five place from
the previous year and is also considered the worst ranking
in the country’s history
Nonetheless, this is not regarded as a surprise and is
considered to be a reflection of declining performances
across a wide range of economic indicators, such as GDP
growth, employment creation, and non-diamond exports.
It is reported that reversing this trend will require much
effort, with reforms and improvements needed across a
number of policies and public sector activities.
“Although demanding, the task is not impossible, as
examples of Mauritius and Rwanda – as well as other
countries outside of Africa – show,” observed the report.
Experts suggest a logical reform agenda, mainly focusing on
better policies, public sector efficiency and private sector
competitiveness coupled with speedy implementation.
It is not only international indicators that point to a
deteriorating state in Botswana.
Local surveys have also
consistently exposed weaknesses, with inequality and
unemployment rates reportedly on the rise.
Results of the Botswana Multi-Topic Household Survey
(BMHTS), which are also highlighted in the Econsult report,
indicate that inequality has risen marginally, while poverty
declined by a relatively small margin.
Notwithstanding, Jefferis and his colleagues have
commended President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration
for embarking on policy improvements since taking over
office almost a year ago.
It is noted that there have been some improvements in the
availability of work permits for foreign investors and skilled