Botswana’s government has approached the World Bank for budgetary support as the country’s economy suffers from a dip in revenues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Botswana’s economy dropped by 24% in the second quarter of 2020, as coronavirus enforced lockdowns at home and across the world slowed down domestic economic activity and limited diamond sales.

Finance Minister Thapelo Matsheka said, “We have set up a team and the World Bank has also set up a team to assist us.”

“No quantum is in place yet but ideally if we can get about 50% of the expected 13.6 billion pula ($1.19 billion) deficit for the remainder of the development plan which ends in 2023, that should give us a smoother landing into the next development plan.”

Guido Rurangwa, who serves as the World Bank’s Botswana representative said talks on the request for the budgetary support were ongoing.

“The government and the World Bank are currently discussing details of the support, including the amount,”

Botswana’s finance minister revealed this week that the country’s economy will grow by 7.7% in 2021, from a contraction projection of 8.9% in 2020, on the back of improved sentiment in the global diamond industry.

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