- NPC to assume roles of several development structures in govt
- New body to lead in formulation of National Development Plans
- Commission to development of long-term Visions
The newly established National Planning Commission (NPC) is aimed at providing leadership in national strategy development, coordinated sectoral and national planning, implementation coordination as well as performance monitoring and evaluation.
Giving an overview of the NPC at a press conference in Gaborone yesterday (Thursday), its Interim Coordinator Christopher Molomo said its establishment followed a public sector rationalisation exercise carried under the Office of the President (OP) this year. It was established to assume the functions of the erstwhile National Strategy Office (NSO), the Government Implementation Coordination Office, the erstwhile Vision 2036 Coordinating Agency and the planning functions of the Ministry of Finance.
Molomo outlined the key functions of the NPC as coordinating development and implementation of long-term visions and strategies for Botswana, developing the country’s National Development Plans (NDPs), coordinating development planning and implementation, as well as coordinating policy formulation and providing advocacy and communication for the national vision and its strategic interventions. A staffer of the NPC, Boitumelo Gofhamodimo, said Botswana has prepared NDPs to guide a sustainable and inclusive economic development path for the country since 1965. She added that the current plan, NDP 11, will end on 31 March 2023, paving way for NDP 12, which should commence 1st April 2023.
Gofhamodimo said Botswana has adopted a bottom-up approach in planning, which is characterised by extensive consultations that start at the local level and feed into a national framework. She defined NDPs as major policy documents of governments that outline policies, programmes and strategies to address development goals and challenges of a country, respond to regional, continental and global commitments, as well as set out project pipelines to be developed during the plan period.
For longer-term planning, Vision documents are developed to outline a country’s aspirations over 20-year periods. NDP 12 will be the second in a series of plans to implement Vision 2036. Gofhamodimo said the plan will be aimed at attaining sustainable higher growth through accelerating financial sector reforms, green transition, prioritisation of education and human capital, promoting export-led growth, infrastructure development, fiscal sustainability, as well as innovation and digital transformation.
Another staffer, Thato Raphaka, said development planning has a direct bearing on people’s livelihoods. It is therefore critical to maintain a continuous dialogue on these issues in order to provide citizens with current and relevant information, and to motivate their participation in formulation of development policies that affect them. Raphaka noted that to that end, transparency and buy-in from citizens are to be encouraged. “It is our hope that we will see reports on policies, achievements, challenges and strategic interventions in our national development plans, project implementation, Vision 2036, Sustainable Development Goals and so forth and so on,” he said.