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Parastatal merger earmarks service delivery

The recent decision by government of Botswana to merge and shed off some of government parastatals is expected to maximize public sector service delivery and ensure efficiency.

The initiative to merge and reorganize the parastatals and public enterprises forms part of public sector reform initiatives which are aimed at contributing to the policy thrust of government to achieve greater economic diversification.

The rationalisation gave birth to Ministry of Entrepreneurship(MoE) in order to provide leadership and overall policy direction, strategy and standards for business development.

Already some of the parastatals that are expected to merge are Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency(CEDA) which is set to merge with Local Enterprises Agency(LEA) to form one entity.

Further as part of the exercise, some departments and units have been moved to MoE and these include; Poverty Eradication Programme, Cooperatives Development and Agribusiness from Office of the President, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Agriculture respectively.

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“Rationalising parastatals and public entities in line with existing synergies will improve service delivery by creating one stop service centers where the public can get services. Another key goal of rationalisation is to promote efficient use of economic resources by eliminating duplication and redundancies,” said Minister of Entrepreneurship Karabo Gare at the recent launch of the organization’s blueprint.

Though changes are expected from the rationalisation, Gare said; “As mergers take place some functions may be affected and it is in government’s interest to ensure minimum disruptions during the transition period to ensure business continuity. However for now all parastatals and public entities under MoE are continuing to deliver on their mandate during this rationalisation period until the process has been completed at which the new entity will be formally launched and introduced to the public,” he said.

As part of the rationalisation, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is expected to be restructured such that it provides loan financing to non agriculture sectors based on approved lending threshold within three months.

Selibe Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) will see its functions transferred to Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) within six months while the same BITC, Special Economic Zones (SEZA) and Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) will merge in a time frame of two years.

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