IMF Staff Completes 2019 Article IV Mission to Botswana
29 November 2019
The IMF team has completed Article IV consultations with Botswana. Economic growth is forecast to slow to 3.5% in 2019 due to weaknesses in the diamond market, drought and slower regional growth. Growth is expected to recover to 4.2% in 2020, as the diamond market bounces back to normality and copper production coming back into the national accounts and projected to be around 4% thereafter. The IMF staff notes that the pace of economic growth in Botswana is too low to achieve development objectives and create news jobs. The current account is projected to move to negative territory, contributing to a decline in reserves. In the medium-term, fiscal consolidation is expected to gradually reduce the deficit and contribute to gradual rebuilding of buffers. The IMF team notes that Botswana remains vulnerable to volatile mineral revenue and SACU transfers and climate shocks. Hence, to achieve the objectives of knowledge-based economy and high-income status by 2036, the current growth model needs to be changed to a private sector and export-driven model. The IMF team recommended fiscal reforms to move Botswana forward including i) modifying the fiscal rule to prevent further erosions in buffers and achieve Botswana’s intergenerational equity objectives; ii) greater revenue mobilization through broadening the tax base and advancing tax reform; iii) public financial management reforms to enhancing the efficiency of spending; iv) reforming parastatals and other extra-budgetary entities, including by enforcing compliance to best governance practices and strengthening their monitoring and accountability, and v) revamping the debt management framework.