The country’s poor work force is slowing down progress towards economic recovery.
Despite the country‘s improved ranking from the previous year’s scorescard the poor human resource in the country is greatly affecting the country’s ranking, competitiveness and overall economic performance. In the 2013-14 global competitiveness report Botswana is currently at position 74 out of 148 countries placing the country in the fourth sport in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and third position in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Speaking at the launch of the report at Lansmore Resort this week acting minister of Trade and Industry Keletso Rakhudu said government accept the fact that they are a significant contributor of poor work ethic in the country.
“It is frustrating that despite the talks made on the poor human resource little progress is made in improving performance,” he said. Rakhudu said they continue to receive poor customer satisfaction. He also pointed out that lack of reception classes in government schools is setting the country back in primary education ratings. “But the major problem in Botswana is the attitude of the people and lack of responsibility when it comes to their duties.” Executive Director of the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) Baeti Molake said poor work ethic has been a problem in the country for the past seven years. He said the macroeconomic stability due to government-balanced budget has contributed to the slight improvement of the country’s ranking. The macroeconomics moved from position 84 to 24 because of lack of borrowing, improved savings and development of the financial markets.
He however pointed out that the most crucial contribution to the ratings is the work force. “Competitiveness of a country depends on the productivity of its people and the local work force is not efficient.” Molake said due to that and poor infrastructure the country is stuck in transition from factor driven to an efficiency driven economy due to the exportation of primary raw products that are not processed. “Big bold steps need to be taken and the transformative forces that will drive growth in the country identified.” Commenting on the results Diamond Hub Mmetla Masire said stern measures should be taken to discipline people who underperform, instead of rewarding them, as it is currently the case. Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM), Maria Machailo Ellis said private companies are failing to take advantage of the five years old training levy despite measures put in place. “Together with BNPC we came up with training on service to improve the work ethic but there was no effect,” she said adding that the issue is multi dimensional and emanates from policy level.
Earlier this year during a presentation of the 2012 Bank of Botswana (BOB) Annual Report Matthew Wright said the inadequate performance by the county’s work force goes a long way in hampering growth.