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Doing Business: Botswana improves but slides in ranking

Botswana is ranked 81 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The rank of Botswana deteriorated to 81 in 2017 from 71 in 2016.

Ease of Doing Business in Botswana averaged 60.50 from 2008 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 81 in 2017 and a record low of 39 in 2008. Doing Business 2018 is themed ‘Reforming to Create Jobs’ and places Botswana among the top 5 best economies in sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to ease of Doing Business. The country trails behind Mauritius (25) and Morocco (69) and Kenya (80). The report notes that Sub-Saharan Africa has the widest variation in performance among the areas measured by Doing Business, with  Mauritius standing at 25 in the ranking and Somalia at 190.

In the last report (2017) Botswana managed to move a place up following the country’s decision to make it easier to deal with construction permits by streamlining procedures. This was achieved by abolishing the requirement to submit a rates clearance certificate. Although Botswana had made significant strides in other areas for the 2018 Doing Business report, other countries appear to be moving at a much quicker pace hence the Botswana position of 81 out of 190 countries assessed by the World Bank.

Doing Business focuses on regulation that affects small and medium-size enterprises, operating in the largest business city of an economy, across 11 areas. Ten of these areas—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also publishes indicators on labour market regulation which are not included in the distance to frontier score or ease of doing business ranking.

“Botswana remains among the top 5 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa to do business”, said Xavier Furtado, the World Bank Group’s Country Representative to Botswana. “This year’s Doing Business report recognized the steps Botswana’s authorities have taken, making it easier to trade across borders as well as to file and pay taxes. The situation for entrepreneurs in Botswana has certainly improved, but not as quickly as in other countries. Economies around the world, including in Sub-Saharan Africa, adopted a record number of business reforms for a second consecutive year, making the competition very tight.”

Mr. Furtado went on to say that, “Also of importance is Botswana’s ‘Distance to the Frontier’ score, which reflects the gap between Botswana’s standing and international best practice in those areas covered by the survey. We are pleased to note that Botswana has, over time, managed to close this gap. Going forward, the World Bank Group will continue to support Botswana in undertaking the necessary reforms.”

According to the 2018 report Botswana made registering property more difficult by reducing the efficiency of its Registrar of Deeds as it implements the computerization of manual records. Botswana made paying taxes easier by establishing an online system for filing and paying taxes. Furthermore Botswana made trading across borders easier by implementing a new automated customs data management system.

Doing Business measures aspects of business regulation and their implications for firm establishment and operations. It does not include all the issues that are relevant for businesses’ decisions, but it does cover important areas that are under the control of policy makers. Governments worldwide recognize the economic and political benefits of improved business regulation. In fact, 119 of the 190 economies measured by Doing Business 2018 enacted at least one business regulation reform in 2016/17. Of these, 79.8% implemented at least one reform for a second consecutive year and 64.7% for a third.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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