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Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Prioritize Planning & Diversication
12/11/12
 In responding to the needs of the people in terms of promoting citizen enshrined planning, budgeting, accountability as well as partnership in the development agenda, government uses national development plans to identify and analyze critical issues that affect the country’s economic and social development path. This is done to allocate the resources according to the needs and priorities of the country.

“Government’s expectation is that projects meant to address national priorities are implemented effectively and efficiently to maximize the impact on resources made available for such. This was availed by Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. V. T. Seretse recently at a conference for Local Authorities to review the National Development Plan 10 (NDP 10). Hon. Seretse further noted that government resources are very limited hence efficiency and effectiveness should be integrated in the planning processes of programmes, projects and policies.

The conference was exclusive to Local authorities as representatives of the majority of Batswana, particularly at grass roots level, as the emphasis is to engage them directly. Hon. Seretse said he had all the confidence in those in attendance given the vast knowledge and experience they have in planning and most importantly from the bottom. “This will indeed give the discussions a new thinking in a way that will serve the nation in the best way possible for the next three years of NDP 10”.

The Minister further said while the country has experienced an impressive economic performance and developments since independence, available evidence shows that that has since changed, hence the need to prioritize planning of national needs. This, he said was made worse by the uncertainties in some parts of Europe where most of the country’s diamonds are destined. This has however seen the economy grew by 3.9 percent in the first half of NDP 10, instead of the 7.5 percent required to attain Vision 2016 aspirations.

Such uncertainties have led to the fall in both diamond production and sales and thus overall revenue available for government expenditure. The country’s debt has also increased from 6.7 percent to 21.5 percent, thus giving rise to the budget deficits as available resources could not match expenditure levels, said the minister.

As part of the review, the ministry has prepared a Keynote Policy Paper and the Macroeconomic outline papers that raised a number of critical issues of concern, considered very important in achieving sustainable and diversified development in Botswana. Several presenters on four key thematic areas of macro chapters, economy & employment, governance and security and sustainable environment gave elaborative details and recommended the way forward.

Presenting on the macro chapter, Dr. T Nyamadzabo said economic diversification is very critical and emphasis should be on projects that have strong forward and backward linkages. The review is mainly done to measure its intended objectives and to see if resources are still available going forward. Minister Seretse reiterated that as custodians of NDPs, they will continue to retrospect and make further amendments where necessary to meet the needs of the country

 

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