Friday, August 27, 2010

Opening Remarks by the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Hon.L.Motsumi @ National Strategy Office Scenario Planning Meeting

source: Republic of Botswana TAUTONA TIMES of 8/8/2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”


[Please find below remarks, which were given this morning on the Minister's behalf by the Secretary for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration at a National Strategy Office stakeholder meeting on scenario planning].-

[Salutations]...Senior Public Officers, Private Sector Leaders, Representatives of Civil Society, Ladies and Gentlemen

1. I have great pleasure in addressing you this morning. As you are aware, His Excellency the President made an announcement at the last High Level Consultative Council held in May this year that the Government Implementation Coordination Office will not only be responsible for implementation coordination but shall also take on the responsibility for coordination of the formulation of strategy, and shall henceforth be known as the National Strategy Office (N.S.O). It is significant that the word Government has been replaced by National. This is in recognition of the principle that Government does not have a monopoly on National Strategic thinking. Hence the presence of your good selves, representatives of Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society at this meeting today which is also graced by our Development Partners. This meeting is held in the spirit of consultation which has been the hall mark of the High Level Consultative Council and the Ministerial Pitsos’ which are being held as directed by His Excellency the President.

2. The theme for today’s meeting is “Looking Ahead, The World and Africa …. Beyond 2010”, which will help us to scan the horizon and prioritise our efforts in aggressively pursuing the diversification programmes of the Botswana Excellence Strategy that we are committed to.

3. I am informed that the Botswana Excellence Strategy was shared with the Private Sector at a Consultative meeting in February 2010 where the Private Sector showed great enthusiasm. I also understand that action items emanating from the strategy have also been shared with you at a brainstorming session held at Mokolodi in May 2010. Progress on these action items is now being shared at the Sectoral High Level Consultative meetings as directed by His Excellency so that the Private Sector and Civil Society plays its part in realizing the benefits of the Botswana Excellence Strategy.

4. We have come through the worst of the Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed due to the recommendations of the Task Force of the Botswana Economic Advisory Council which were considered and adopted by Government. The recommendations were bold and were aimed at maintaining business confidence and employment, and repositioning the country for future growth in the medium to long term.

5. Whilst the mining sector had to confine its production in line with reduced demand as a result of the global financial crisis, our non-mining sector responded well to the broad stimulus budget of the Government and other interventions and evidenced healthy growth in sectors such as Agriculture, Construction, Wholesale and Retail, Banking and Financial Services and Transport and Communications. The latest evaluation of the overall growth for 2009/10 which was dragged down by the massive mining contraction is that the net contraction after accounting for the positive growth of the non-mining sector was -3.7% compared to the earlier estimate of -6%. The forecasts for growth for the year 2010/11 are positive and are estimated to be not less than 5%.

6. However, we cannot be complacent. The Global Economy has gone through radical change as a result of the global financial crisis and Botswana needs to be agile and reposition itself to take advantage of the changes that have taken place and steer carefully through the turbulent waters created by the crisis.

7. It is for this reason that we meet with you today. We look forward to the presentation by Ms. Ilbury to see how Botswana and Southern Africa may position itself in the global economy as we look ahead. The contributions of your good selves towards this thought process is vital so that we are aware of what is happening on the ground and learn from your wisdom and experience. With these remarks I wish you stimulating and fruitful discussion which will make a significant contribution towards the strategic direction of our nations development. PULA

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