Matambo buoyant on 2017 growth prospects

14th February 2017
Kenneth Matambo Source:The Midweek Sun

The domestic economy is expected to expand at a much faster rate this year when compared to the previous year, the budget speech presented by Finance and Economic Development minister this week shows.

Kenneth Matambo told lawmakers Monday in Gaborone that, the economy is forecast to grow by 4, 2 percent this year, up when compared to the forecast growth of 2, 9 percent in 2016. The treasury minister is bullish and hopeful of a positive-growth across all sectors. “The optimistic outlook is based on the anticipated slight improvement in the mining sector, and positive growth for the non-mining sectors,” said Matambo.

Perhaps Matambo’s optimism for recovery is spurred by the recent surge in De Beers diamond sales for the past year. De Beers is a company owned by Botswana and Anglo American. Diamond is Botswana’s biggest revenue earner in foreign markets and contributes about 25 percent to national coffers. Any recovery in the diamond sector always has positive impact on the mineral-rich country. 

In a recent report on Botswana, Africa’s leading bank, Standard Bank said it expected a strong recovery in the domestic economy only next year, putting it at 4, 5 percent. Optimistic as he is, Matambo has also made it known that the economic prospects might be hampered by ‘slow recovery of the global economy and falling copper prices’. 

Falling commodity prices have already hit home. BCL, the country’s biggest copper producer has been placed under provisional liquidation due to low copper prices among other factors. The results have been job losses amounting to more than 5000 people.

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