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Review must prioritise economically vital projects

The Southern District Council is in the process of identifying projects of economic importance in an effort to align District Development Plan 8 (DDP 8) to both National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11) economic revitalisation and transformation strategy.  

Speaking at a special full council session on February 18, principal district development officer Ms Nonofo Leshaga said introspection on the successes, challenges, remedial actions and reprioritisation was paramount.

She pointed out that DDP 8 started in the 2017/18 financial year and would run until 2022/23 with provision for a mid-term review.

She said the move would give the district an opportunity to identify and analyse critical issues likely to affect its economic and social development path during the remaining period of the plan.

Ms Leshaga said the review was coming at a time when the district was experiencing a decline in financial support from mainstream funding sources due to the current sluggish economic growth environment.

Following a slowdown in the diamond industry,  the highest contributor to the Botswana’s economy, government was still trying to develop roots in the economic transformation agenda meant to revitalize and boost economic growth, she said.

Ms Leshaga said with the mid-term review, the council was mandated to examine cross-cutting issues affecting economic growth nationwide but with particular attention on those with direct effect on the district.

The review must identify potential growth points that needed to be explored to enhance the district’s contribution to national economic revitalisation together with re-engineering of operational aspects to achieve efficacy in service delivery, she said adding that well thought choice of projects was essential.

Ms Leshaga also noted that the review was happening at a time when the country was still grappling with the COVID 19 pandemic.

She said the magnitude and complexities of the coronavirus outbreak tested the district’s preparedness level.

The expectation was that the review would come up with recovery plans for cushioning the district against the effects of the pandemic, she said.

In addition, Ms Leshaga said the review was a platform for identifying priorities for accelerating economic diversification.

Among proposed strategies for addressing key issues are provision of adequate resources to counteract high rate of failure for Youth Development Fund projects, review of Memorandum of Agreement to give Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture Development powers to take legal action against defaulters, upgrading of minimal land servicing to fully serviced as well as employing Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategy in land servicing. 

Developing and implementing land bank utilisation strategy and using PPP to develop the banked land as well as expansion of the power grid and diversifying into other sources of energy have been identified as critical strategies.

Ms Leshaga stressed the importance of formulating a water harvesting and conservation policy that would bind people to build structures with rain gutters or other facilities to augment supply.

She suggested that departmental boundaries be aligned with administrative ones as a way of improving service delivery. ENDS

 

 

Source : BOPA

Author : Keith Keti

Location : KANYE

Event : Sub-council session

Date : Feb 21 Sun,2021

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