Botswana has been advised to continue to expand her infrastructure and also build and protect the country’s brand equity.
Frontier Advisory Deloitte & Touche Associate Director, Hannah Edinger made the observation in an interview with BG Business. She said that a country’s competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industry to innovate and upgrade. “Botswana should therefore promote competition among companies and invest in and promote skills development.”
She said companies gain advantage against the world’s best competitors due to pressure and challenge. Edinger said having strong domestic rivals, aggressive home-based suppliers and demanding local customers enhances competitiveness among companies. The government should also allow skills and talent inflow into the country, as well as adopt new technology and production processes to increase the country’s competitiveness. Edinger advised Botswana to adopt new marketing approaches and to upgrade and increase the sophistication of her products.
Edinger however said innovation and upgrading require investment in skills development and knowledge generation. “It also requires investment in physical assets and investment in brand reputation,” she said.
She commended the country for being ranked one of the best in Ease of Doing Business in Africa for 2015 and 2016. According to a World Bank report, out of 189 countries, Botswana is the 3rd easiest place for doing business in Africa and is ranked 72 in the world. Mauritius is placed top in Africa.
She reiterated that it was critical to build a coherent and compelling country brand by creating a good track record. Botswana has been rated as one of the most stable, peaceful, and transparent and has consistently been rated as the least corrupt country in Africa by Transparency International. Edinger said due to the dynamics of global business, countries like Botswana increasingly need to differentiate themselves and remain competitive.
The Deloitte company official said countries that have business models based on resources like oil and minerals should diversify their economies. “A lot of African economies that heavily rely on resources, Botswana included, should diversify because the changing economic global reality is that we have to think differently,” said Edinger. She challenged Botswana to continue to create an enabling environment for investments. The country should also get the basics right, particularly infrastructure development, health and primary education institutions.