Botswana development vision and localisation of UN Sustainable Development Goals

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Norbert Musekiwa
David Mandiyanike


This paper considers how the Botswana government could use the experiences of implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to localise their successor Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country’s new development strategy Vision 2036. Despite the recentralisation of some elements of service delivery (water, education, and health) reversing the decentralisation trend, Botswana attained respectable successes in achieving MDG targets. The localisation of development goals must however go beyond simply establishing effective and efficient decentralised local government units, to implementing local economic development strategies that enable communities to take an active role in national development processes. The primary question that this discussion paper seeks to answer is: can Botswana utilise lessons learnt in implementing the MDGs to the SDGs, to foster an empowered local community? The paper highlights how community empowerment is particularly critical in Botswana; on the one hand given the current over-dependence of the economy on a limited number of extractive, finite mineral resources, and on the other because of the multi-dimensional character of poverty and high income inequality afflicting Botswanans. The call for greater decentralisation in Botswana’s Vision 2036 provides a good example for the Commonwealth as it goes beyond the SDGs’ target date of 2030.

Botswana; Millennium Development Goals; Sustainable Development Goals; Vision 2036.

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How to Cite
Musekiwa, N., & Mandiyanike, D. (2019). Botswana development vision and localisation of UN Sustainable Development Goals. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, (20), 135-145.
Research and Evaluation (peer-reviewed)