The latest global competitiveness report compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows a wide fall in the way enterprises operate in Botswana.
The country, according to the report, ranked 116 out of the 144 countries covered by the report this year. The pillar ranked 102 and 95 during the last two surveys conducted respectively. Business sophistication covers among other components, local supplier quantity and quality, state of cluster development, nature of competitive edge, extent of marketing and willingness to delegate authority. The pillar generally looks into whether local suppliers are producing enough and whether their produce is healthy. Six out of the nine indicators under the pillar scored below the average mark of 3.5.
This, according to Botswana National Productivity Centre executive director Baeti Molake is a wake-up call for local enterprises to up their game. Molake said that local enterprises should spend money on research and development if they are to be competitive in business. Another problematic area interrogated by the WEF in collaboration with the BNPC was goods market efficiency. Though the score remained at 4.1 during the past two years, the pillar ranked 97 from 92 last year. Molake said it is an indication that local enterprises do not realise the importance of customers. “This can only improve if the private sector can come to the party,” he said, further calling for intense competition in the local market. A major challenge over the years has been poor work ethics in the national labour force.
Other sub Saharan countries which have this problem are Namibia, Zambia and Lesotho, though the problem is not predominant like in Botswana. BNPC general manager Tebogo Kesupile told the media this week that to counter the poor work ethic epidemic, they have so far trained 283 facilitators in the public sector to embark on public awareness on the matter. “We want people to know that they should own their work with passion,” she said. Other pillars that fared poorly are institutions, infrastructure, and financial market development. Meanwhile, innovation remained stagnant at 102 and 3.0 for both rank and score.
There was also a notable improvement in the mobile broadband subscriptions from 16.5 percent to 74.1 percent, which was attributed to the provision of up to date data by relevant authorities. Botswana ranked at 74 this year, maintaining the position from last year. However, a slight improvement of 4.2 from 4.13 score was recorded.