The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning together with the European Union this week launched a Labour Market Observatory(LMO) at Gaborone Sun.

The event, according to organisers, was meant to share with the stakeholders the developments pertaining to the establishment of the Botswana Labour Market Observatory and to also get feedback from them. Kelapile Ndobano, the Macroeconomic Policy Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance said the need for an LMO in Botswana came about due to lack of coordination and harmonising labour market information.

“The observation is that although the Central Statistics Office is mandated to provide authentic data, there are several other pockets of labour market information that is scattered among various organisations. It is this information together with that from the CSO that the LMO will be coordinating and harmonising to enhance complementaries among the various key players in the labour market.”

Ndobano said the availability of reliable, comprehensive, cost effective and up-to date labour market information was a necessary condition for effective human resource planning and implementation.

He reminded the audience that such information was not only needed by government, but also by employers for their personnel planning decisions.

“Individuals also need information on the state of the labour market to make their training and career choices.
As a result of this, knowledge of how the labour market functions becomes integral to an understanding of the key economic issues of our time.”

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, according to Ndobano, will temporarily house the LMO until the National Human Resource Advisory Council (NHRAC) starts operating.

Head of Section of the European Union delegation to Botswana, Marc Thill, said the EU agreed to finance a request from the LMO committee for a study assessing the feasibility of the establishment of a LMO in Botswana.

“The study included a tour by government officials to visit labour market institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong and an assessment of similar institutions in South Africa, Jamaica and UK to draw lessons for the establish of a LMO in Botswana,” her said.

Italian company, AGMIN have since engaged consultants Hans Bekkers- a labour market specialist and Professor Michael Hopkins who is an IT specialist.