I wake up stimulated to really share with those that will pay attention as a way of showing what we have continued to do as a country to end up in such terrible economic situation. This time around I chose to give real examples of what could have contributed to this mess and I would appreciate it if one Super Economist that is sold for the bluffy Yellow Paged Economic Stimulus Programme. I will this time try to be short though my comments tend to be long because the fire inside is a blazing stimulation to share with those in power my views and frustrations with the powers that be. The following are my points to highlight this destimulation.
Top leadership Interference with the entertainment industry. We had the master going around the country in meetings with elderly people and the retired employees who are failing to accept that we live in a changing world, entertainment is different from that of the past, blacklable, St Louis, Heineken etc have replace bojalwa jwa setswana aka maswe a dinala as the preferred beverage. Some are parents that failed effect controls in their homes and took the matter to dikgotla meetings and saw it fit to support the Banana bana bojalwa campaign. Getting the thumbs up from dikgotla the master failed to come back to engage with analysis to assess the impact of any action that may be taken against alcohol consumption. And what did we do? We sent the Minister of Commerce and Industry around the country with a solid instruction to close all shabeens, Dipotso (Sgothi) and reduced operating hours for bars and alcohol sale. My disappointment was that Docus as the portfolio owner should have shed light to the master and highlighted what's at stake. Instead she went to aggressively close this and even go on to deny Batswana to do home brewed alcohol. In my opinion this is where we should have assigned our researchers not just sociologists, but millers, chemists and brewers.
Imagine how many small businesses shut down because bars and entertainment industry plus support services have been impacted by this move. And this is where a certain percentage of SMME's was impacted.
Corruption and institutionalised corruption- some industries are sensitive to corruption. I will stop there.
Misalignment between government and the diamond polishing sector. I remember pre 2014 elections Onkokame bragging about how many jobs have been created by the diamond polishing industry. Little did he mention that his pals are actually the employers as it recently surfaced with Mc D and one tycoon in GC, remember that P78 million battle that was shortly publicised in the papers? Heelang betsho the diamond industry is very sensitive. We are still trying to recover from the CKGR - Survival International saga. I am happy that recently Mma Nasha cleaned her name that she did not know that there was a mining agenda in the background when Survival International locked horns with government and was up in arms against Botswana Diamonds. That had potential to dent the market of our diamonds.
International relations. Our failure to manage our relationship with our neighbors has resulted in loss of our local market. You all know how our master acted and approached SADC, he would leave early, focus and make comments on internal matters of SADC countries and loose out on the opportunity to secure and market Botswana. I think here we trusted the First World market for beef and diamond export and therefore saw little potential for our regional market. That simply got Botswana on a macro scale to loose out as we shipped what we could potentially export to SADC to EU where our products got profits eroded by long distance and high EU standards.
Demotivated workforce - it hurts to find Batswana labeled as lazy, I differ with that, I am a good example of the opposition of what Batswana are reported to be. There are a lot that are better than me. I do agree that we are an unhappy community especially since the departure of Rre Mogae. Fest! ae maan, that man knew how to party, I have been to a few sessions where he was in the midst and the spirit and mood was too right for partying. He led the pack to the dance floor. The people worked and when not happy shared their frustrations with him in the right platforms not where workers would hear that the master has announced no salary increment from those who attended kgotla meetings. Rre Motshwarakgole had little to do and most people didn't know much about BOFEPUSU until about 8 yrs ago.
That has translated to go slow for most people and this issue with teachers has really killed Botswana and I repeat, it has killed Botswana, a teacher is the center of the economy. With the teacher you produce candidates to be trained as accountants, economists, doctors, and all professionals you can name. Dented relations with teachers has really screwed us up as few people make it to tertiary and they get there half baked, resulting in half bake graduates.
Zero focus on production and blue collar jobs. For a long time Botswana has maintained a culture of producing white collar employees or experts. This has resulted in technical jobs lost to our neighbors and the earning exported to their country. That is the real destimulation because the earnings are exported and spent away from Botswana. Any normal economist will hear this. Export of entertainment- a classic example is the recent BEMF that saw millions of Pulas paid to SA artists when we have our own talent that we could spend our money on . As we speak only SA artists are smiling and still counting our money. Batswana are back to he short operating hours and all the spoils from the BEMF have long been eroded by the high overheads.
I will stop here for now.