Digesting Botswana’s Minister and Econmic Development O.K Matambo’s budget speech at this years FNB Botswana’s Budget Review, our Afrolutionist Neo Bridget Kitso chimes in her thoughts on Botswana’s potential in harnessing it’s human capital to diversify the nation’s economy, reduce unemployment while adapting to a new, and ever-changing world.
“I have been coming to Botswana for several years now and there has been talk of economic and trade diversification but I have not seen it yet.” Mr. John Cairn’s statement recoils me from my analytic reverie post the FNB Budget Speech Review. He had started his presentation with an extensive take on the Pula Power, with regards to the National Budget Speech presented by the Minister of Finance by outlining the rut that we are stuck in as a nation. Of which we are still observing the ripple effects of post 2016; evident in the liquidation of BCL and financial changes that left many other local corporation in need of downsizing.
"Isnt it about time we had a disruptive budget? We need to venture into other industries besides diamonds." – Moatlhodi #FNBBudgetReview
— The Afrolutionist (@Afrolutionist) February 7, 2017
According to his analysis being optimistic about positive change isn’t something we should gravitate towards yet given the recent appointment of President Donald Trump in the United States of America and its potential to slow down global growth. But coming back home, he predicts the growth of South Africa’s GDP which will infectiously affect our own despite the looming political instability that may affect us and the fickle status of the Rand.
While we are a continent that is persistently rising and finding our own fuelled mostly by raw materials; predominantly minerals, we need to forge other ways of generating income. Most speakers spoke a lot on having a disruptive budget and benchmarking from other thriving economies. While that is one way to go about it, we need to unravel the current rut we are in excavating from the core. At crux of suggested ways to plough our way into development through the adoption of Artificial Intelligence which to some level a number of Techprenuers are attempting to bring but continue to be faced with pungent resistance.
"The 4th Industrial Revolution opens up an entire sphere of opportunities" – Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo #FNBBudgetReview
— First National Bank (@FNB_Botswana) February 7, 2017
There is no better time to action Honourable Bogolo Kenewendo’s suggestion of moving away from outdated traditional ways of conducting business to join the 4th Industrial Revolution. An average Motswana has a well versed presence on the virtual world, growing the ICT literate population some, easing cross-border of trade.
The ‘Trump Effect’, something most speakers and the rest of the world, has openly expressed their concerns with sure will affect commodity trade and will vigorously affect the way the world relates in general. The blatant racial divide that he so openly advocates for as a leader of what is supposedly the free world is retrogressive. But as a Pan-African community this could be an opportunity to maximise on producing for ourselves and trading within the community, radicalising the development of Africa on all aspects. Then all efforts to be implemented in efforts to diversify our economy might actually prove effective then.