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Botswana performs well in macro-economic sphere

Director General of the National Strategy Office (NSO) says the purpose of the cluster development initiative workshop is to continue training on the cluster the initiative which was last conducted in collaboration with the World Bank through an introductory workshop.

Giving introductory remarks at a cluster development initiative workshop, Mr Uttom Corea said the intent of the previous workshop was to build capacity as well as maintain momentum as they move towards the development of the clusters.

“The cluster development agenda stemmed from the Diagnostic Study on the Economy and Employment Thematic Area that was undertaken by Professor Michael Porter for government of Botswana in 2012,” he said.

He indicated that the study findings showed that Botswana performed well in the macro-economic sphere (monetary & fiscal policy and human development & political institutions) and has not done well in the micro-economic sphere (quality of business environment, state of cluster development and business sophistication).

Mr Corea said the study also recommended a number of strategies to transform Botswana.

“One of the key strategies was to follow the cluster based agenda, hence the cluster development economic model, which government has since adopted. As a result, the National Development Plan 11 is anchored on the cluster development agenda as the economic model that will help the country achieve its Vision 2036 goals, especially export diversification,” said Mr Corea.

He further said to kick-start the implementation of cluster development, the focus would be on three identified sectors being tourism, beef and financial services.

“These will be followed later on by diamond beneficiation and mining,” he continued.

Mr Corea said in order to build capacity and understanding around this concept, NSO and other stakeholders attended conferences both continentally and internationally.

“In addition, NSO has conducted workshops for public awareness for different stakeholders within the priority sectors in order to create understanding and buy-in,” he said, adding that in order to take the cluster development agenda to the next level, government had engaged The Competitiveness Group to facilitate the process.

He said The Competitiveness Group is a boutique consulting firm specialising in cluster based economic development programmes. They have been building expertise and methodologies since 1993 and have since applied their competitiveness reinforcement methodology and tools in many countries around the world.

Mr Corea said the cluster development initiative would allow them to work towards economic diversification, promote local economic development and SMMEs growth as well as feed into the national policy for the research, science, technology and innovation in order to upgrade from natural resources to value added technology and innovation.

“The methodology that is being used by The Competitiveness Group has been proven to be effective in over 50 countries and sectors. It combines world class strategic analysis and change management tools in pursuit of implementation,” he said.

He noted that the consultants had been engaged ‘not to do the job for us, but to guide us through the process’.“The implementation of the cluster development agenda is and remains our responsibility and it is upon us to ensure that we use the tools that we will learn from this methodology to bring out change that we want to see in our private sector, that of the private sector becoming a true engine of economic growth in Botswana,” he said. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Omphile Ntakhwana

Location : Gaborone

Event : Workshop

Date : Feb 06 Tue,2018

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