President Mokgweetsi Masisi released a social media post this morning to reiterate the 15 main points of the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) manifesto. He explained that the declaration is essentially a blueprint for growing Botswana into a country where its people can thrive, and where the youth have a future in which they can have a real stake.
Key to offering meaningful ownership in the country is the changing of the land tenure reform system so that tribal land can be owned by Batswana, which they can use to create businesses such as agriculture, home-based companies and other means of wealth creation. The land can also be used as security to unlock other opportunities.
While the tribal land tenure reform is to transform, the Kgotla system that offers citizens a right to to have their say, will be preserved and strengthened. The BDP considers the Therisanyo (consultation) Botho belief system as a positive and essential part of Batswana lives.
In short, the BDP aims to keep what is good in Botswana and is working hard at moving the country forward through innovation, improved governance efficiencies and inclusive programmes.
To date, the BDP has been responsible for transforming Botswana from a traditional low-income economy, that mainly relied on the agricultural sector, to an upper middle-income economy. The party, under the leadership of President Masisi, is now leading the country in its second transformation to a high-income, resource and knowledge-based economy in line with Vision 2036.
The BDP-led government’s public private partnerships drives will attract foreign and local investment to boost the economy further.
The BDP’s plans are bold. By undertaking major constitutional and policy structural reforms through inclusive consultation with Batswana, and by improving service delivery, the BDP administration will boost domestic and international investment. This will be achieved by improving relevant policies and legislation as well as institutions that need reform to make the environment conducive for economic transformation.
Comprehensive plans for improving healthcare and for revamping Botswana’s social protections for the poor, vulnerable and excluded groups are also high on the BDP’s agenda. To achieve its goals of better-quality healthcare, the BDP has developed and implemented various preventative and curative programmes such as HIV treatment plans, pre-cancer screening, sexual reproductive health, to mention but a few of the successes already achieved. *As 95% of the Botswana population live within an 8km radius of a health facility, with the remainder living within 8 – 15 km radius (*Statistics Botswana), through the Universal Health care access, the country is now serviced by over 800 mobile clinics for remote areas.
However, just as important to the President and the BDP is job creation, especially for the youth, the real future of Botswana.
The ruling party will create sustainable and meaningful jobs in the next five years in a variety of sectors including digital innovation, entertainment and arts, agriculture, mining, tourism, education, automotive, electronic, pharmaceuticals, solar energy and other manufacturing industries, as well as a project to develop a solar car that will create massive employment opportunities.
The overall vision is to create a future of equal opportunities for the youth so they have equal access to improved education, practical skills development, and technology to make them globally competitive.
This will further be enhanced through the introduction of a Graduate Development Programme and the creation of centres of entrepreneurship and of excellence. The aim is to establish Botswana as the capital of Southern African start-ups. Young creative minds will be encouraged to convert their knowledge and skills into commercial products so they can grow small to medium sized businesses, and to lead the fourth industrial revolution.
Part of the manifesto is to invest in retooling and reskilling the labour force for the new economy and also to reduce supply demand gaps. President Masisi is also adamant and committed to improving working conditions for all workers through inclusive and harmonious relations with trade unions.
An important cornerstone of any democracy is a free media and under a new Masisi led administration, a free and independent media landscape will be encouraged to self-regulate and to maintain cordial relations with the Press Council of Botswana, the Botswana Media and Allied Workers Union, and the Botswana Editors Forum.
But none one of the points above can happen without putting an end to corruption.
Since becoming President of Botswana on 1 April 2018, President Masisi has taken the job of crushing corruption in government and the private sector very seriously. Under the BDP administration, the President is pushing for new anti-corruption measures such as the legislation of the declaration of assets, the protection of whistle blowers and by strengthening the government’s administrative protocols.
President Masisi said on his social media pages, “I want to remind you that the BDP manifesto was not created as a marketing tool for the October elections. When I took over as President my BDP team and I travelled the country to speak to you to find out what is important to you, what your needs are, what your dreams are and how we could help you to achieve your aspirations. We then took your ideas and sat around a table for weeks to put together a manifesto that takes your needs into consideration and with your input, we came up with practical and economical solutions to benefit Batswana, our economy and our beautiful country. What you see today, is the manifesto simplified into 15 different focus areas, which we will unpack daily so that you can see how your suggestions have been incorporated and how you have helped me to make a difference in our country.”
To track the BDP’s #ManifestoMadeEasy journey, please follow @OfficialMasisi and @BotswanaDemocraticParty across the various social media pages.