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Botswana Social Protection Assessment
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Despite its rapid economic growth and high per capita income level, Botswana is still plagued by many development problems common to low-income countries. To respond to these economic and social challenges, the country has put in place a mature and comple

Research Group
 Incomes, Welfare and Poverty

Date
  25th February 2014

Author
 BIDPA-World Bank

Keywords
  Social protection; Social safety nets; social transfers

Document
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statement

Despite its rapid economic growth and high per capita income level, Botswana is still plagued by many development problems common to low-income countries. To respond to these economic and social challenges, the country has put in place a mature and complex social protection system. At the same time, the social protection system exhibits a number of features that are suboptimal. While Botswana has many social protection programs, some of them are rather small relative to the target group they try to cover or to the number of poor people, which limits their effectiveness. Contributory pensions cover less than 13 percent of the workforce, reflecting the structure of the economy and its small formal sector. Targeted programs for the poor such as the Destitute Persons or Ipelegeng (public works)cover less than 3 percent of the population. Furthermore, safety net programs are fragmented. They are implemented by different ministries, diluting scarce administrative capacity. The current social assistance spending is skewed in favor of a single programscholarships and sponsorship for tertiary students—which absorbs 45 percent of all social assistance spending. It is very likely that these programs benefit mostly the non-poor. Recently, the Government set an ambitious goal to eradicate absolute poverty by 2016, relying on its safety net as one of the key pillars. The goal of lifting 84,000 families from absolute poverty by 2016 is achievable through redirecting 0.4-0.6 percent of GDP toward families living in absolute poverty and implementing a targeting system…

 


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