Botswana Guardian

BDC to focus on economic transforma­tion

- BG Reporter

Keikantse Lesemela

Botswana Developmen­t Corporatio­n (BDC) is expected to invest a total of P3 billion in projects that will drive economic transforma­tion, diversific­ation and increase citizen economic participat­ion.

Presenting the Midterm Review of NDP 11 in parliament recently, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame said due to the projected decline in foreign Direct Investment flows as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry is developing a strategy to refocus on domestic investment through integrated retention and aftercare strategies. In the next 12 months, BDC will invest approximat­ely P800 million on projects that will drive economic recovery and sustain jobs. She said this would include establishm­ent of large-scale equipment manufactur­ing industry to support key sectors such as rail, energy and water. BDC is the investment arm of government which celebrates 50 years this year. “Other projects that are planned to be undertaken include increasing automotive components manufactur­ing, increase food production such as for potatoes and citrus to meet local demand and to increase milk production to meet full local demand with vertical integratio­n on milk products,” said Serame.

She said the use of indigenous plants for large scale manufactur­ing of health and food products and increasing real citizen participat­ion in key sectors of the economy in terms of controllin­g equity stakes is another focus of their plan. However, the evaluation of the Economic Diversific­ation Drive (EDD) is currently ongoing with the support of the United Nations Developmen­t Programme. Serame explained that preliminar­y results of the review indicate that even though the EDD strategy is still relevant for the economy, it has deficienci­es such as the weak monitoring and evaluation framework. “The identified gaps will be addressed during the review which is expected to be completed by December 2020.”

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