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Country analysis > Botswana Last update: 2020-11-27  

Botswana: Budget speech 2008

Mr Baledzi Gaolathe

Government of Botswana

Delivered to the National Assembly on 4 February 2008

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The 2008 budget speech in brief - 166Kb ~ 1 min (13 pages)
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  1. Mr. Speaker, I have the honour this afternoon to present budget proposals for the 2008/2009 financial year to the National Assembly.

  2. Mr. Speaker, allow me to begin by paying a special tribute to His Excellency the President, Mr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, as his term of office will expire during the course of this Parliamentary meeting. As you may recall, Mr. Speaker, President Mogae was among the first citizen officers who joined the planning cadre in the then Ministry of Development Planning in 1968, when the cadre was almost fully staffed by the British and other expatriate personnel. Given his brilliance and hard work, he progressed up the ranks quickly to become the Permanent Secretary in the combined Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in 1975, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund from 1977 to 1981, and Bank of Botswana Governor from 1981 to 1982, when he was appointed to head the Civil Service. In 1989, after retiring from the Civil Service, he came back to the Ministry as the Minister and subsequently became the Vice President whilst holding the same ministerial portfolio. His Excellency the President is, therefore, one of the veteran architects of our renowned sound economic management systems and policies. During his tenure as the President, the economy has maintained an average real annual growth rate of 6 percent and per capita income has continued to increase to over P40 000 today, while poverty and unemployment rates have fallen. He has presided over a growing economy that has improved living standards for Batswana. As a Nation, we are grateful for his great leadership and contribution to the country’s social and economic development, as well as to the consolidation of our multi-party democratic system of government and the rule of law. We should, therefore, rededicate ourselves under the leadership of the incoming President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, to continue building on the sound foundation that President Mogae and his predecessors have laid.

  3. Mr. Speaker, this Budget Speech marks the last year of the National Development Plan 9 (NDP 9), which integrated the Long Term Vision for Botswana, Towards Prosperity For All (Vision 2016), into the national development planning process. It is now more than 10 years since Vision 2016 was adopted, leaving only 9 years for us to fully achieve the aspirations of Batswana as articulated in the Vision. While during NDP 9 progress was made towards realising both Vision 2016 targets and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to which Botswana subscribes, more needs to be done to effectively tackle vexed national development issues. For example, there is need to accelerate poverty reduction, employment creation and economic diversification, as well as to consolidate our social and physical infrastructural achievements. It is in pursuit of the aspirations of Vision 2016 that the theme for the 2008 Budget Speech is “Accelerating Achievement of Vision 2016 through NDP 10”. This theme, Mr. Speaker, is a challenge to all stakeholders to recommit to the attainment of the Vision ideals and the MDGs. Since the objectives of NDP 9 are aligned to the Vision Pillars, it is ideal that as we embark on the preparation of NDP 10, we take along what we learnt during NDP 9 implementation and focus on how to Accelerate Achievement of Vision 2016 through NDP 10.

  4. Mr. Speaker, as Honourable Members are aware, the process of preparing National Development Plans is extensive and follows a bottom-up approach, which involves widespread consultations with stakeholders, including the communities in general and public structures, such as the Village Development Committees, Community Based Organisations, and the Local Authorities. In this regard, the preparation of NDP 10 commenced in July 2007, with the drafting of the Keynote Policy Paper by my Ministry. The Paper is a summary of key issues of concern emanating mainly from the current national, as well as local government plans, strategies and policy thrusts. Ministries have since prepared the Sectoral Key Issues Papers, which articulate issues that emerged during NDP 9 implementation and pertain specifically to their respective sectors of the economy. All these documents will culminate in a draft Macroeconomic Outline, which provides an overview of the broad policy framework, strategy and an assessment of the country’s resource prospects, such as revenues and manpower for the next Plan period.

  5. My Ministry is currently finalising the Macroeconomic Outline for NDP 10, which will be considered by Government in March 2008. The next stage, after approval of the Macroeconomic Outline, is for Ministries to submit to my Ministry their national development programmes and projects consistent with the policy objectives and resource prospects in the Macroeconomic Outline, as inputs for drafting of the Plan. Although Plan preparation is a lengthy process, with a number of key milestones to be achieved, we expect that the draft NDP 10 will be debated in this Honourable House in November 2008, to be ready for implementation from the 1st April, 2009. There is, of course, an opportunity for all political leaders to make an input in the preparation of the NDP 10 by participating in the various consultative fora, or to submit their inputs in writing.

  6. Mr. Speaker, as it is customary, before I deal with the budget proposals for 2008/2009, I will now brief the Honourable House on the international, domestic and sectoral economic reviews for the past year, since developments in these areas have a bearing on the 2007/2008 revised budget estimates and the 2008/2009 budget estimates, to which I will revert later.

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