BOTSWANA’S POTENTIAL TO UTILIZE ITS MINERAL RESOURCES
IS LIMITED BY THE WEAK HUMAN RESOURCE BASE
Team Leader: KELETSO NTSIMANYANE 201501076 Contacts: 75726856 email:[email protected] THAPELO 201505201
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TOC o “1-3” h z u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc530061092 h 2Causes of a weak human resource base PAGEREF _Toc530061093 h 3Education PAGEREF _Toc530061094 h 3Poor talent management PAGEREF _Toc530061095 h 4Population PAGEREF _Toc530061096 h 5Table 1: Botswana’s population compared to that of the top 5 mineral producing countries in the world PAGEREF _Toc530061097 h 6Lack of innovation PAGEREF _Toc530061098 h 7Solutions to the phenomena PAGEREF _Toc530061099 h 7Improving the quality of education in the education sector and skills development in Botswana. PAGEREF _Toc530061100 h 7
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to analyse how weak human resources constrain Botswana’s ability to make use of its mineral resources. The main aim was to evaluate the factors which contribute to a weak human resource base, which are; the low quality of education offered in Botswana, lack of training in the manufacturing and mining sector, poor talent management and a lack of innovation among the country’s human resources. The paper suggests solutions to remedy the weak human resource base, which is to improve the quality of the education sector and skills development and investing on R&D in the manufacturing sector.
Throughout the years, Botswana has been among one of the leaders in the mining industry in Southern Africa. It has become stellar in its mining industry and has maintained stability in the sense that it did not fall victim of the resource curse as a result of good fiscal management CITATION Mar01 l 1033 (Maria & Jiwanji, 2001). Botswana started off as one of the poorest countries in the world, however, by 2007; its per capita GDP was around US$65000, which at that time was among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa CITATION Gov11 l 1033 (Government of Botswana, 2011). Other indicators like good primary school enrolment and accumulated foreign exchange reserves are proof of Botswana’s success. According to Judith, Zavareh, ; Lauralyn, (2016), despite Botswana maintaining its development during the course of these years, it is important to note that the contribution of mining to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been declining since 1990. And will continue to do so. Output will continue to decrease as mineral localization is not common, one of the reason being because of Botswana’s weak human resources. The objectives of this paper are as follows:
Explore the causes of Botswana’s weak human resources.
Try and find solutions to problems that have risen from this issue.
To achieve its objective, the paper is organized as follows: this current section gives a brief introduction of the paper. The following, explains and analyses, through facts, causes of weak human resources. The third, and the last section discusses the solutions which are meant to solve the lack of innovation and creativity of the labour force.
Causes of a weak human resource baseEducationThe government has prioritized increasing literacy rates and increasing overall school enrolment in the nation as early as 1981 through programmes such as National Literacy Programme (NLP). From independence to the Vision 2016 and Vision 2036, its main objective was to “achieve universal primary education” which has been partially achieved through public expenditure. Public investment on education has increased significantly, despite inflationary increments. Spending totaled to P12.7 billion in 2017/18, which was relatively higher by 34% of what was spent on the education sector in 2013/14. Following the change in the government structure, education still remains a top priority as it has received about 21.3% of government resources, which surpasses the Dakar framework and approximately close to the 22% SADC benchmark. CITATION UNI17 l 1033 (UNICEF Botswana, 2017) Even though education is a priority in Botswana, it still faces some shortcomings, one of these being the challenge of increasing/improving the quality of the education. According to Makwinja (2017) the standard and quality of education in Botswana is declining, proved by high failure rates in primary and secondary schools. In addition, high failure rates in Junior Certificate results indicate that the quality of students transitioning from junior, secondary and eventually to tertiary schools is subpar. Consequently, it leads to a human resource base that is not exceptional, rather below average. A work force that is not able; one that lacks the mental skill to innovate and think outside the box.Another shortcoming is possible brain drain i.e., the emigration of highly trained or qualified people from a particular country. Campbell (2012), concluded that majority of the skilled work force in Botswana is lost through brain drain. The researcher agured that Botswana is becoming highlyservice-related and most of the supply can not be absorbed by the market. Therefore, most skilled workers, inlcuding University of Botswana graduates look for better job opportunities abroad.
Poor talent managementAccording to Scullion ; Collings, (2011), talent management is a set of activities concerned with attracting, selecting, developing and retention of the best employees in the strategic roles. It helps as it recognizes what roles different workers excel in and help them improve their capability to perform tasks needed to meet organization objectives. However, in Botswana, talent management is not fully being recognized, and has not fully penetrated industries. As a result of this, there is poor work ethic among workers.
A study by the Global Competitiveness Report states that Botswana is the worst among the 137 countries included by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (CGI) on 12 Pillars of Competitiveness. According to Figure 1, Botswana’s score is 19, indicating that the workforce stands out as the poorest work ethic in the world survey.CITATION Sch18 l 1033 (Schwab ; Sala-i-Martin, 2017). Furthermore, poor talent management in organizations responsible for manufacturing mineral resources produces a workforce that is incompetent and not performing at their potential best
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1
Small population size
As of 2017, Botswana’s population stands at 2 291 661 people. This is slightly higher than a quarter of the population of Papua New Guinea (8 251 162 people), which is the fifth top mineral producing country in the world. Comparing the population of Botswana with that of the world’s top mineral producing countries (including Papua New Guinea); the Republic of South Africa with a population of 56 717 156, Russia with 144 495 044 people, Australia with 24 598 933 inhabitants and Ukraine with a population of 44 831 159, Botswana is considered to have a deficit population.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: Botswana’s population compared to that of the top 5 mineral producing countries in the worldBotswana South Africa Russia Australia Ukraine Papua New Guinea
Population 2 291 661 56 717 156 144 495 044 24 598 933 44 831 159 8 251 162
Dependency Ratio 54.91 52.5 53.2 51.86 45.76 6.21
1Sourced and retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2010.html
A small population as Botswana’s case is quite a disadvantage because it indicates that the minerals produced by the country do not have a sufficient local market and skilled personnel to set up manufacturing industries to turn them into finished goods. The Diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash and coal produced in the country have a foreign market. The country does not entirely benefit from its mineral resource economic potential (such as processing and manufacturing the raw minerals into semi-finished and finished goods in order to sell it to the outside market) when the minerals are exported in their natural state. There is a need for the country to be able to process and manufacture by-products of its own mineral, but Botswana is hindered by its small population as there is not enough people with expertise and training fill the gap of manufacturing locally produced mineral by-products. According Fessehaie, Rustomjee, ; Kaziboni (2016) Economic Diversification Drive which ran from 2011 to 2016, included mineral beneficiation of which local enterprises were to be engaged, but states that diversification into manufacturing is hindered by Botswana’s small market.
Furthermore, given the diminutive population, the effect of a dependency ratio (i.e. the number of dependents in a population) of 54.672% in 2017, had a greater impact on the labour force, compared to a nation with a larger population. Resulting in increased strain on the working population, thus reducing productivity and weakening the overall human resource base.
Lack of innovationCertain policies and procedures hinder human resources from being innovative and coming up with new ideas. This causes employees to only conform to the laid out rules since they cannot go beyond the boundaries set by their employer. At certain times creative thinking can be misunderstood by top management and employees who lack creativity in their work process. CITATION Sie11 l 1033 (Sieczka, 2011).
Solutions to the phenomenaImproving the quality of education in the education sector and skills development in Botswana.It has already been established that the educational sector leans more on quantity than quality in Botswana. In order to produce think-tanks in Botswana’s economy, the government has to invest its resources into improving policies that focus on improving:
The quality of basic education especially that of rural schools and those that are under-performing.
Access to training programmes in order to narrow the skills gap in Botswana and help drive to economic growth and enforce workforce with skills needed met.
The superior talents of workers, thus leading to creativity and innovation.
In addition, Botswana could invest in research and development to enhance its human resource base. This allows for proper information dissemination in the hierarchical structure of industries related to manufacturing mineral resources.
Weak human resources have been an ongoing problem for Botswana as early as the early 1980s. The government has tried to better it through expenditure on the educational sector; however, their efforts have continued to fail throughout the years. Debswana which is a partnership of the government of Botswana and De Beers have played a role in training human resources to ensure it does not become redundant. Improving weak human resource base seems to be a complicated multi-faceted issue and needs more than monetary attention.s
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