According to bank documents, the proposed operation aims to support the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen private sector development, and promote a resilient, green recovery. The creation of an enabling policy environment to implement the Single Social Registry (SSR) and targeting reforms is key to improve targeting of social spending on the most vulnerable, while also strengthening systems for future shocks. The second pillar addresses regulatory constraints to private sector development by improving access to finance for individuals and small and micro enterprises (SMEs), by filling a gap in credit information between lenders and borrowers, and easing regulatory requirements to start a business. The third pillar lays the foundations for sustainable, “green” growth by awarding additional renewable energy capacity to independent power producers and connects it to the energy grid; regulating permits to domestic, commercial, and industrial users of rooftop solar energy; and embedding climate change considerations in environmental assessments.
The proposed DPF of US$250 million supports Botswana’s short and long-term recovery from the socio-economic crisis triggered by the spread of COVID-19. It is the first-ever budget support loan Botswana requests from the World Bank. It is the first in a series of two programmatic operations. This DPF is closely aligned with Government’s Economic Recovery and Transformation Program (ERTP). It is also aligned with National Development Plan 11 and with Vision 2036, which aims to turn Botswana into a higher income country by 2036. In the ERTP, Government has committed to pursuing a diversified and inclusive export-led growth strategy, whilst strengthening Botswana’s response to climate change as a basis for renewed, sustainable growth. The DPF specifically supports three elements of the ERTP: (i) SME development, (ii) investing in infrastructure and (iii) building resilience. The DPF’s Pillar Two, on private sector development, focuses on improving access to finance in order to enhance firm productivity and competitiveness. Pillar Three, on the green recovery, supports Botswana’s efforts to transition towards solar power generation. It also strengthens institutional and regulatory frameworks for environmental impact assessments, which is key to improving climate resilience.
Anna Carlotta Allen Massingue, Edouard Al-Dahdah
Republic of Botswana
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
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