One of Africa’s success stories – and a model for the use of natural resources to boost development – Botswana has evolved since independence in 1966 from a least-developed nation to a middle-income country. It has seen sustained economic growth – anchored in good governance, peace, political stability and sound macro-economic management.
The main challenges to continued growth are economic diversification and improving the country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Income disparities and HIV/AIDS rates which rank amongst the highest in the world, also hinder development.
An acceleration of the pace of economic reform is needed to ensure effective implementation of policies promoting foreign direct investment and private sector development and to improve productivity and competitiveness of human resources.
The EU’s cooperation strategy with Botswana under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-20) – outlined in the National Indicative Programme (NIP) – highlights the Education sector and Public Sector reforms as top two priorities for the EU – with an indicative allocation of €11 million for each. Civil society will also receive support with an initial amount of €6 million.
The EU’s cooperation strategy with Botswana under the 10thEuropean Development Fund (2008-13) – outlined in the Country Strategy Paper - singled out human resources development as a priority. This sector has received €72.5 million out of a total amount of €98.1 million under the 10th EDF – in the form of sector budget support and technical assistance.
Other areas of cooperation were: the promotion of gender equality, environmental sustainability and the fight against HIV/AIDs. Entrenching democracy, good governance and human rights – especially with regard to the rights of children and indigenous people – are other aims. Further EU funding is empowering civil society to become a more meaningful partner in the development process.