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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Botswana entered the COVID-19 crisis with larger buffers than most countries, but significantly less than in the past. The country was contending with structural challenges, persistent negative external shocks and delays in adjustment that had already caused a significant weakening of international reserves coverage and the fiscal position amid high unemployment. The pandemic exacerbated these challenges causing a sharp GDP contraction, among the strongest in SSA and a widening in the current account deficit. Foreign exchange reserves dropped further, though still remaining well above adequate levels. The fiscal deficit widened significantly as the government sought to counter the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and implemented a sizeable public wage increase agreed in 2019. The deficit was financed partially by drawing down on the Government Investment Account.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation focuses on Botswana near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity, and financial markets. Gross domestic product growth is forecasted to pick up to 4.4 percent in 2020 and 5.6 percent in 2021 as the diamond industry recovers somewhat, and a new copper mine comes on stream. Growth will ease back to around 4 percent over the medium term. Risks to the outlook include faster-than-anticipated slowdown in key trading partners, shifts in consumer preferences to synthetic diamonds, and climate shocks. The size and pace of the planned adjustment are consistent with Botswana’s fiscal space, but the composition of the adjustment should protect efficient capital and social spending. Furthermore, given that buffers are being eroded, it is critical that consolidation starts as envisaged in FY2020, as it would help start addressing external imbalances and contribute to a gradual rebuilding of buffers over the medium term. In order to strengthen the monetary transmission mechanism and deepen the domestic financial market, there is a need to develop the secondary market for government securities, leverage Fintech, facilitate the attachment of collateral, and improve credit information.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper presents the Technical Assistance report National Accounts Mission in Botswana. As a result of recommendations made during the previous mission, Statistics Botswana (SB) have revised the release date for the rebase of national accounts estimates from March 2020 to December 2020 and updated the workplan accordingly. SB has made progress in finalizing the statistical frame and associated weights to compile gross value added (GVA) estimates for industries in the economic survey and estimates of GVA for the other industries. Once the business frame is determined, SB will have to reconcile the establishments that responded to the economic census ensuring that there is good coverage of industries as well as size of establishments. The previous mission strongly recommended that the release date for the rebased estimates be revised given the workload in rebasing the national accounts. The two temporary staff that have been with the national accounts for approximately 18 months as reported by the previous mission have been extended for a further two years. This is very positive news as they demonstrated a good understanding of the national accounts and a willingness to build their capacity.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.

Abstract

The 2018 Annual Report of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics provides an overview of trends in global balance of payments statistics.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
In response to a request for IMF technical assistance (TA) made by the Botswana authorities and in consultation with the IMF’s African Department, a government finance statistics (GFS) TA mission from the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) visited Gaborone during April 13–26, 2016. The mission is part of the GFS Module of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development-funded Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative 2. The main objective of the mission was to continue to assist the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) in the compilation and dissemination of fiscal statistics in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 and Public Sector Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
In response to a request for IMF technical assistance (TA) made by the Botswana authorities and in consultation with the IMF’s African Department, a government finance statistics (GFS) TA mission from the IMF’s Statistics Department visited Gaborone during the period March 13–24, 2017. The mission is part of the GFS Module of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development-funded Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative 2. The main objective of the mission was to continue to assist the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) in the compilation and dissemination of fiscal statistics in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) and Public Sector Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A Government Finance Statistics (GFS) technical assistance (TA) mission visited Gaborone, Botswana, during October 9–20, 2017 to support the Botswana Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) in improving compilation and dissemination of fiscal statistics. The mission provided assistance with: (i) disaggregation of expense transactions in the statement of operation in accordance with the Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM) 2014 to distinguish grants, subsidies, and other expenses; (ii) review of the new chart of accounts (CoA) and mapping from the old chart to the new one; (iii) compilation of government expenditure using the classification of functions of government (COFOG); and reviewed progress on the migration plan to GFSM 2014 compliant compilation and reporting of fiscal and debt statistics. The mission was undertaken jointly with the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Center in Southern Africa (AFRITAC South/AFS) Public Finance Management (PFM) TA mission.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that sizable buffers and prudent policies have kept Botswana’s economy stable despite diamond market weakness and volatility. In 2017, despite higher diamond production, real GDP growth dropped to 2.4 percent primarily because of the closure of a major copper and nickel mining company. Non-mineral growth decelerated reflecting the indirect effects of the company’s closure on electricity and transportation, coupled with a small slowdown in trade and construction. In 2018–2019, it is expected that improving conditions in the diamond market and fiscal stimulus will temporarily boost economic activity. The medium-term economic outlook will depend heavily on the successful implementation of critical structural reforms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights the recovery of Botswana’s economic activity in 2016: real GDP growth was 4.3 percent. Mineral production has remained subdued, but diamond sales rebounded as conditions in the global market began to improve. Nonmining activities also expanded, supported by accommodative fiscal and monetary policies and reforms in the electricity sector. Year-over-year inflation has remained stable near the lower band of the Bank of Botswana’s inflation objective range of 3–6 percent; the 12-month rate of inflation was 3.5 percent in May 2017. The fiscal position has also improved as the deficit narrowed from 4.6 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2015/16 to about 1 percent of GDP in 2016/17.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper presents an overview of Botswana’s economy. Botswana’s diamond endowment—along with its track record of good macroeconomic policy management and political stability—contributed to high average economic growth and strong fiscal and balance-of-payments positions in recent years. Despite these achievements, Botswana faces unemployment, water and electricity shortages, and inefficiency of government operations. These challenges need to be addressed. Real GDP growth is estimated to be negative in 2015 owing to a decrease in global demand for diamonds and a deceleration of activity in the non-mining sector. However, the economy is expected to recover gradually in next three years driven by a gradual pick up in diamond prices and fiscal stimulus.