GABORONE, Feb. 5 — The mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Botswana declined from 25 percent in 2008 to 18 percent in 2018, a Botswanan official said here on Monday.
Presenting the southern African country’s 2019 budget, Botswanan Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo said the contribution of the non-mining sector far outweighed that of the mining sector in 2018.
Botswana transformed dramatically over the years from one of the poorest countries in the world to an upper middle-income one due to revenues generated from the sale of its mineral resources, particularly diamonds.
However, Botswana’s domestic economy is projected to dwindle due to less revenues from diamond sales. Botswana’s domestic economy is forecast to grow by 4.2 percent in 2019 due to uncertainty in global markets.
“Mining sector’s share to the gross domestic product (GDP) declined from 25 percent in 2008 to 18 percent in 2018,” said Matambo when presenting a 675 million U.S. dollar budget proposal for the 2019 financial year.
Matambo said the mining sector’s decline is consistent with Botswana’s efforts to reduce the dependency of the economy on the mining sector, which is susceptible to external shocks.
“There is need to intensify efforts to diversify the country’s exports and government revenue sources. Diamond exports continue to dominate the trade account while mineral and customs revenues account for over two thirds of government revenues,” said Matambo.
The country’s dependency on one or two major commodities or sources has a systematic risk hence the Botswana government’s pledge to continue with efforts to diversify the economy in general and its exports, he added.
Over the years, Botswana has pursued specific strategies to promote economic growth through increasing employment and maintaining macroeconomic stability.