Botswana forecasts 4% growth in 2023

07 Feb 2023

Economic growth of 4% is forecast in Botswana this year, whilst the country predicts medium-term growth of 5.7%, according to a statement by the finance minister on Monday.

The government is also planning to increase infrastructure investment this year.

The southern African country now forecasts the 2023/24 budget deficit to stand at 3.06% of GDP, compared to 2.1% for 2022/23, according to minister of finance, Peggy Serame during an annual budget speech to parliament.

Back in September, Botswana’s government forecast a budget deficit of 0.1% of GDP in 2023/24 and a deficit of 3.4% in 2022/23.

Serame went on to add that the country was seeking to increase its infrastructure spending in 2023/24 to “unlock constraints to economic growth,” Reuters news agency reports.

The minister of finance continued that Botswana’s government has upwardly revised its 2022 growth estimate to 6.7% from a previous forecast of 4.2%.

Serame stated that the revision for last year was associated with a robust recovery from the Covid pandemic. Back in 2021, economic growth of 11.8% was registered, following a lockdown-linked economic contraction the year before.

“This is due to better-than-expected performance in both the mining and non-mining sectors, particularly the diamond trade, and the water and electricity sectors,” the finance minister went on to say.

Botswana generates around 30% of its revenue and as much as 70% of its foreign exchange earnings from diamonds, the Reuters report adds.