Project Summary

Project Title 

Technical assistance program in supporting Botswana private sector and relevant institutions in renewable energy (RE) through investment promotion and technology transfer

Country

Republic of Botswana

Government Coordinating Agency

Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea

Implementing Agency

UNIDO ITPO Italia

Main Local Expected Counterparts   

Local Administrations in Botswana, Ministry of the Environment, Wildlife and Tourism of the Republic of Botswana (METW), Energy Affairs Division within the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water (MMEWR), Botswana Committee on Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Botswana, Water Authorities

Objective:

The objective of the project is to support the Botswana Government in identifying and promoting best practices and technology transfer opportunities, providing ad hoc capacity building activities in selected renewable energy with the aim of supporting sustainable development, local job creation and fostering international and innovative partnerships.

Specifically, theprojectseeks to:

  • increase capacities of Botswana’s institutions operating in the renewable energy and environment sectors;
  • promote international partnerships, collaboration between institutions and increase their efficiency;
  • facilitate technology and best practices transfer through the creation of an adequate institutional network;
  • raise awareness and disseminate technical competences to local stakeholders, in particular with the support of local institutions;
  • improve competitiveness of local institutions and private counterparts preventing any duplication of effort and competition with already existing national energy institutions and companies;
  • attract investment in renewable energy, environment and related infrastructures.

Beneficiaries:

The main target group is represented by Local Authorities and SMEs operating in renewable energy and relevant environmental issues. Projects from a number of SMEs will be identified, assessed and promoted to the Italian business community in order to find potential partners for investments and joint-ventures, as well as technology transfer and capacity building opportunities.

Activities:

To pursue the project objective UNIDO ITPO Italy, in synergy with the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, will establish and operate a focal point in Botswana that will assist in field UNIDO ITPO Italy in scouting an ad hoc portfolio of 6 sustainable investment opportunities in the country and open up new international partnerships, working also in close cooperation with other institutions in supporting the Local Authorities and private sector.
UNIDO ITPO Italy will act as an honest broker in the identification and formulation of investment projects in Botswana and will promote them through its network and amongst the Italian and International business communities.

Expected Outcomes:

Following project activities, assisted local authorities will be strengthened and geared to local, national and international markets, pursuing the objectives and commitments of SDG 7 and SDG 9, as well as of COP 21 in Paris on 2015.

It is expected that the project will contribute to:

  • disseminate knowledge to local SMEs and support local institutions in identifying and promoting sustainable investment projects;
  • support international partnerships between local and international stakeholders demonstrating technical viability of innovative technologies on renewable energy and environmental techniques.

 

Why Botswana?

  1. Geographical position and Infrastructure: as a landlocked country, Botswana has experienced trading challenges due to the high cost of cross border trade and transportation. To remedy these challenges, considerable investment in infrastructure and regional trade policies has improved Botswana’s competitive trading position and elevated the country to be the hub of Southern African trade. Since 2009, Botswana has targeted investment in infrastructure, aiding recovery of the economy from the global recession. Trans-regional highways, railways, airports and efficient border control mechanisms all contribute to Botswana's competitive trading position.
  2. Political stability: Botswana is the longest standing democracy in Africa, political stability is a key stimulus for investment in Botswana.
  3. Safety and security: Botswana is one of the most secure and safe countries in Africa and compares well worldwide for low crime rates and the rule of law. The country has little or no exposure to large scale security concerns, such as terrorism, cybercrime, and money laundering.
  4. Corruption: international studies have consistently ranked Botswana among the world’s least corrupt countries, a reputation fortified both by public, private and civic anti-corruption institutions and by a deeply ingrained anti-corruption culture in the country’s economic sectors.
  5. Top sovereign credit rating: Botswana has long been among the top-level credit ratings for both economic outlook and political stability worldwide. A major component of the country’s macro-economic policy has been to attain a low, stable and predictable level of inflation in order to maintain the economy’s global competitiveness while preserving value for foreign investors and domestic businesses. Since 2005 the country has used the crawling peg exchange rate regime, keeping the Pula competitive relative to the inflation differential of major trading partners.
  6. Taxation and Foreign exchange policy: Botswana does not have foreign exchange controls or restrictions on capital outflows from financial institutions, thereby facilitating investor activity. It is worth to highlight the comparatively low levels of taxation in Botswana as an incentive to investment. In recent years, this position has been further consolidated by fiscal changes to simplify the taxation regime and methods of payment.
  7. Investor protection: institutional support in Botswana guarantees investors protection and incentive due to streamlined regulation practices. Botswana has implemented practices in its legal code for over 40 years to guarantee investor protection, allowing for a competitive and accessible investor market. The country is a signatory to the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and other agreements that ensure maximum security for investors.
  8. Skilled population: Botswana's literacy rate is 84.5% for citizens aged 15 and above, a figure that reflects consistent investment in education. A network of local and international universities and colleges, as well as accreditation and certification bodies ensures that skills quality meets world standards, while government policy ensures that the skills being produced match industry requirements. The country has developed significant human resource skills in the mining, construction, financial services, tourism and travel sectors. Botswana continues to diversify its economy and benefits from talented and skilled individuals in key economic sectors.