Job Growth lies in Secondary and Tertiary Sectors – Serame

Minister says primary sectors like mining are waning


In order to create more job opportunities going into the future, Botswana needs to further exploit its existing comparative advantage across sectors such as mining, beef, light manufacturing and tourism and build upon successes in these areas, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Peggy Serame, has said.

Responding to a question in Parliament recently, Minister Serame said Botswana’s economy has depended on natural resources and raw materials for its GDP growth for too long, particularly primary sectors of mining and agriculture.

“The country’s endowment in these natural resources has given it a comparative advantage in the production of diamonds and beef in particular,” she noted.
She added that although these have created many jobs in the past, their growth has slowed down with a corresponding shift towards an increasing contribution to GDP growth and employment opportunities from secondary and tertiary sectors like manufacturing, construction, tourism and services.

“It must also be noted that comparative advantage is not static and can be developed strategically over time by appropriate investment and policy support,” she said. “There is great potential in exploiting niche opportunities offered by the secondary and tertiary sectors.

“These include selected manufacturing sub-sectors such as building materials, furniture, pharmaceuticals, vehicle components … as well as solar energy production, information and communication technology related businesses; developing the creative industry, education, as well as business and financial services.”

Serame told Parliament that the latest Quarterly Multi-Topic Survey (by Statistics Botswana) which is that of the fourth quarter 2021 (October to December of2021) estimated the country’s general unemployment rate to be 26 percent, which translates to 252,316 people.