Botswana expects its economy to grow over and above advanced economies in the globe, amid global uncertainties that continue to dent the landlocked Southern Africa nation’s performance, said President Ian Khama during his state of the nation address here Monday.
“Our current forecasts are for 3.5% growth in 2012 and 5% percent in 2013,” Khama said, arguing that advanced economies were expected to register growth of only 1.3% this year and 1.5% in 2013, figures below Botswana's (the diamond rich nation’s) target.
“Our slower growth is primarily due to a decline in the mining sector output. During the first quarter of 2012, mining output in real terms was 9.5% less than in the first quarter of 2011, and in the second quarter it was 7.6% less than in the same period a year earlier,” said President Khama.
“Prospects for the remainder of the year are also not encouraging. In this context, the global diamond market experienced negative performance during the first half of 2012, with reduced sales volumes and a softening in prices,” he added.
Meanwhile, after recording a series of budget deficits from 2008/09 to 2011/12 due to the economic downturn, Botswana anticipates to record a surplus at the end of the current financial year.
“It is estimated that we will have budget surplus of P1.15 billion this financial year. This follows the reduction in budget deficits from a high of P9.5 billion in 2009/10 to an estimated P2.2 billion in 2011/12,” said President Khama.