Multiple stakeholders need to commit to LED strategy

A sustainable LED strategy in Botswana requires partnership and co-operation between the private and public sector.

According to Segametsi Moatlhaping, programme manager of P3 Botswana, a successful Local Economic Development strategy (LED strategy) must involve all the sectors of the community.  Stakeholders of both the public and the private sector must commit to the improvements of the livelihoods and the economic situation of their communities.

Despite a booming tourist industry and a soil enriched with diamonds, 30 percent of the Botswana population lives below the poverty line. A LED strategy focuses on small scale progress, but needs a joint effort to succeed. Partnership is the key to development.

In fact, there has been some LED initiatives, from public as well as private stakeholders, but the problem is that there has been no real strategy behind, Moemedi Tsimanyane, process facilitator at Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) concludes. When there is a strategy that everyone can agree upon, relevant actors will know better what is expected from them.   

During a LED strategy workshop, organized by BALA and P3 in Maun, Botswana, the participants identified actors who could contribute to the creation and implementation of a strategy. Local authorities, responsible for the local economic and social development, community-based organizations, private sector operators, entrepreneurs, commercial actors etc., were all mentioned.

But the question remains: Who would be responsible for getting all these stakeholders on board? The workshop participants thought that the local municipalities should take the lead. But without partnership and co-operation across the different community sectors – no sustainable LED strategy.