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Creating Markets in Botswana - A Diamond in the Rough: Toward a New Strategy for Diversification and Private Sector Growth - Country Private Sector Diagnostic(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-06) International Finance CorporationDiamonds have been at the center of Botswana’s growth miracle for decade - but the urgency to diversify is stronger than ever. Although Botswana’s economy has undergone transformation over the past decades, the shift has been largely into non-tradable services, with limited gains in employment, income equality, and export diversification. In addition, Botswana’s high vulnerability to climate change, which affects all major sectors of the economy, underscores the need to strengthen Botswana’s response to climate factors as a basis for renewed, sustainable growth. A positive growth outlook and steps taken as part of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis response should give the government new impetus to accelerate reforms. Success in diversifying the economy will depend on the decisive implementation of structural measures to increase private sector participation in nonmineral exports and transformative sectors. The dominant role that the government of Botswana still plays in large parts of the economy, particularly through its footprint as a shareholder in companies in the corporate sector, is a critical constraint that inhibits the entry and success of private sector participants. Gaps in infrastructure, access to finance, and skills are additional key constraints to employment and productivity growth. A coordinated approach to financing entrepreneurship and policies to increase uptake of digital finance can help close the gap. Trade barriers are another key cross-cutting constraint for the private sector, and a greener path for the economy can be unlocked by facilitating improved trade in environmental goods and services (EGS). Three key recommendations for the energy sector are as follows. The first recommendation is the fast tracking of instruments to facilitate investment in energy infrastructure development, including independent power producer (IPP) licensing, and procurement guidelines and processes. The second recommendation is the enhancement of the institutional capacity and governance model of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA). The third recommendation is the development of credit-enhancement and risk-mitigation strategies and supporting instruments to attract and mobilize private sector investment.
How Have Firms Fared in Times of COVID-19 in Addis Ababa?: Evidence from Eight Rounds of High-Frequency Phone Surveys(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-24) Wieser, Christina ; Abebe, Girum ; Asfaw, AdamsuThe COVID-19 pandemic and its negative economic effects create a need for timely data and evidence to help monitor and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis. To monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures on formal firms in Ethiopia and inform the policy response, the World Bank, in collaboration with the government, is implementing a high-frequency phone survey of firms (HFPS-F). The HFPS-F interviews a sample of firms in Addis Ababa every three weeks for a total of eight survey rounds. This high-frequency follow-up allows for a better understanding of the effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on firm operations, hiring and firing, and expectations of future operations and labor demand in order to better tailor and implement interventions and policy responses and monitor their effects
Publication(Washington, DC, 2021-11) International Finance CorporationThe Jordan Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is a joint International Finance Corporation (IFC)-World Bank report that highlights the constraints as well as the opportunities facing the private sector in Jordan. It considers three sectors—tourism, logistics, and information and communication technology (ICT) - and the potential they offer for greater private sector contributions to the Jordanian economy, as well as the obstacles that they face from general or sector-specific policies and regulations. The CPSD also offers concrete recommendations to address some of these constraints. Although this report was largely prepared prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, its analysis and recommendations remain as, if not more, valid in the context of the pandemic and of an eventual recovery. A dynamic and resilient private sector is necessary if Jordan is to break the low-growth, high-unemployment trajectory it finds itself in today. The CPSD argues that tackling some of the major obstacles facing the private sector is essential to firm performance, investment, and productivity. These actions are as critical in times of crisis and especially afterwards to pave the way for a vigorous and sustainable recovery. Similarly, the sectors assessed by the CPSD continue to hold promise for the country. The pandemic has underscored the important role that digitalization, a strong ICT infrastructure, and supportive services have in creating a resilient economy and business continuity. E-commerce and logistics capabilities and services are an area put forward by the CPSD as an opportunity for Jordan in the coming years; they have boomed during the current crisis and are expected to be one of the post-pandemic growth sectors. Conversely, tourism, which had been experiencing a strong rebound in Jordan over the past few years, is one of the sectors hardest hit across the globe by the COVID-19 crisis. In Jordan the sector accounts for about 19.2 percent of gross domestic product and 32 percent of exports. Crafting a strategy that effectively addresses the many obstacles that prevent the tourism sector from attaining its potential is a necessary investment for a strong recovery - and a good use of what is likely to be a transitional period until travel re-commences.