Welcome to our first edition of 2023. The year 2022 was challenging in many respects, especially regarding the performance of the global economy. In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, the global economy experienced unanticipated challenges that led to, among others, the rise in inflation to record levels in recent years. The prospects of Russia-Ukraine war ending anytime soon are not in sight, hence International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that major economies will experience recession in 2023.
We are however hopeful that the global economy will perform beyond the projected growth. Meanwhile, in Botswana, mining will continue to anchor the local economy; hence it will continue to take prominence in our reporting.
In this edition, our cover story is on the Trade Up North. This year, through partnership with Debswana, the show returns and will be held in Jwaneng for the first time on the 21st of February 2023 at the mining town’s Rugby Club grounds. Trade Up North will be held under the theme: ‘Manufacturing and Production: the only way out of our Economic Predicament”. The Trade Up North will bring mining companies and companies that supply goods and services to the mines, and give participants the opportunity to be part of the seminar, which will be held alongside the mining exhibition.
We have also featured extensively, the CEO Forum of Association of Africa Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) following their summit held in Gaborone in November 2022. African DFIs met to re-affirm their role in the development of the continent in the wake of critical challenges such as Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war. The discussions were on various issues amongst others, alternative funding models, co-funding, and helping African governments to tackle problems such as climate change.
In this edition, we also reported on the Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP) which will be implemented in financial years; 2023//24 and 2024/25, with the total expenditure of P64 billion. The plan was approved by Parliament in its last meeting. Out of the P64 billion, P9.8 billion will go to infrastructure projects; P8.5 billion for roads, P235 million for rail, P586 million foraviation. Globally, it is accepted that economic recovery is often stimulated by government spending on infrastructure, even in private sector-led economies in developed countries.
It is also worth noting that, infrastructure development helps to build a competitive economy, as it ease doing business by enabling transportation of goods, and delivery of other services, cheaper and faster. Recently, Botswana delivered landmark projects such Kazungula Bridge and Okavango River Bridge, and we hope government will continue to invest in projects of similar magnitude.
The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Eric Molale said preparations are also ongoing for the implementation Roadmap for the Trans-Kalahari rail link which will connect Botswana to the western coast, thus providing alternative access to the international markets for the Botswana products through the Walvis Bay Port.
Our digital platforms continue to serve you as the reader daily, and we are committed to documenting projects of national importance. Once again, compliments of the new season! It is another exciting year ahead of us.
Enjoy your read!