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Disclosure law coming

A Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Bill is to be tabled in Parliament soon in an effort to root out corruption, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.

He told the 15th National Business Conference that the proposed law would target politicians and senior public officials.

The President said it was evident that some in the private sector also facilitated corruption by corrupting public officers.

He said the law would improve investor confidence and enhance transparency and accountability.

President Masisi also said a National Transformation Strategy was being formulated for seeking practical and effective ways of enhancing the country’s competitiveness, an essential ingredient for productivity and attainment of high income status.

He noted that the private sector had a central and critical role to play in charting this course.

President Masisi said the demands of becoming a highly competitive economy ranged from  ensuring the availability of modern and functioning infrastructure, energy, water as well as information and communication technology.

Equally important, he said, were effective and efficient public institutions, a stable macroeconomic environment and high quality as well as relevant education.

“Innovation, technological readiness and the ability to produce competitive goods demanded by both the local and foreign markets are critical aspects of the competitive economy that we aspire for,” he explained.

The role of government, President Masisi stated, was to facilitate the private sector to grow the economy and create jobs for citizens.

He said government was committed to making doing business in Botswana smooth and seamless.

Bureaucratic red tape should be dealt with first and foremost because it made it difficult for businesses to set up and grow in Botswana, he said.

President Masisi said ministries had therefore been directed to scan laws and regulations with a view to identifying those impeding  achievement of policy goals.

He said government was embarking on public sector reforms aimed at improving service delivery and policy implementation.

The immigration system was also being improved to make it easy for those eligible to obtain visas and to exempt others such as diplomatic passport holders, President Masisi said.

He said turnaround times for processing environmental impact assessment applications were also being reviewed.

Delegates heard that government was working on legislation, to be finalised by December, to fast track the processing of applications for change of land use.

President Masisi explained that the special economic zones policy and the cluster development model in critical areas such as tourism, beef, financial services, agriculture and mining were intended to promote economic diversification thus creating the much needed jobs.

Furthermore, he said that there was commitment to enroll more students in vocational training centres as well as promoting the use of information and communications technologies in all schools.

President Masisi said the conference’s theme, ‘Breakthrough to a high-income Botswana-the role of the private sector in charting the path’, was aligned to  government’s road map of addressing current challenges including poverty, unemployment, bureaucratic red tape and the quality of education.

“The road map ultimately entails concerted efforts to propel this country towards our desired destination by 2036 as espoused in the national vision,” he said.

For his part, Business Botswana president Mr Gobusamang Keebine said the conference had become an important platform for government and the private sector to address key issues related to making Botswana the best place to do business.

Mr Keebine expressed the hope that the conference would come up with tangible objectives and specific milestones that would create a path to achieving one of the pillars of Vision 2036, a High Income Botswana.

The three-day conference ends today.ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Puso Kedidimetse

Location : FRANCISTOWN

Event : 15th National Business Conference

Date : Sep 10 Mon,2018

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