State of the Nation Address focusses on Economic Diversification

Botswana has forged ahead with strategic projects to drive economic diversification, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said. He cited transport, energy and communications’ hub as well as global centre for mineral beneficiation, finance, tourism and innovation. In his State-of-the-Nation Address on November 4, the President said notwithstanding the uncertainties that had afflicted international markets since 2008/09, Botswana had been recovering having enjoyed positive growth rates since the 2010/11 financial year.

Botswana has forged ahead with strategic projects to drive economic diversification, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said. He cited transport, energy and communications’ hub as well as global centre for mineral beneficiation, finance, tourism and innovation. In his State-of-the-Nation Address on November 4, the President said notwithstanding the uncertainties that had afflicted international markets since 2008/09, Botswana had been recovering having enjoyed positive growth rates since the 2010/11 financial year. “This upturn is driven by expansion in non-mining sectors such as manufacturing, finance, transport, construction, and tourism as well as other services. Taken together this is encouraging evidence of diversification,” he said.

President Khama however said the energy, agriculture and mining sectors continued to experience constraints and subdued growth. “While the recent positive outlook in the global economy is expected to strengthen the mining sector, recurring droughts and animal disease remain a constraint to agriculture,” he said. The President said the economy registered a 3.6 per cent growth during 12 months through March 2013, reflecting a 5.2 per cent increase in non-mining GDP while the mining sector contracted by 6.1 per cent. ” “As global prospects improve, our own economy is expected to benefit from increased export demand,” he said, adding the world economy was projected by the IMF to grow by 2.9 per cent and 3.6 per cent in 2013 and 2014 respectively, with modest expansion in both advanced and developing economies.

He said the local economy was projected to grow by just over four per cent in 2013 and 2014 although continued Euro zone uncertainties, drought and animal disease outbreaks, as well as water shortage pose significant threats.

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