The National Strategy Office (NSO) faces a mammoth task as it gears to implement some of the recommendations from a diagnostics of the economy and employment conducted by renowned Harvard economist, Prof. Michael E. Porter.
The Bishop William Lawrence University Professor had been engaged to carry out the study with specific reference to the Botswana Excellence Strategy for Economic Diversification and Sustainable Growth and to advise on the way forward. Prof. Porter was in Gaborone this week and attended the meeting of the Economic Committee of Cabinet, which was graced by president Ian Khama, his vice Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe as well as senior cabinet ministers.
The meeting had been organised by the NSO. Speaking in a brief interview late Wednesday night, minister for presidential affairs and public administration Mokgweetsi Masisi exalted the work of Prof. Porter and his team. “They did a good job for us, their reports are pointed and accurate,” he said, saying government had already begun an “internal process” to discuss the reports with a view to implementing their recommendations. Prof. Porter is said to be a leading authority on competitive strategy, the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions, and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility.
He is not the first to be engaged on a similar task. Nicolas Czypionka burnt his fingers before him in his attempts to advise the country on the elusive economic diversification. It could not be ascertained at the time of writing how much Botswana government was paying for the services of Prof. Porter and his team.