GABORONE, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Botswana will accelerate several development projects to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its economy, Thapelo Matsheka, minister of finance and economic development said here on Monday.
Matsheka made the remarks when presenting the mid-term review of the country's 11th national development plan (NDP 11) to the national assembly.
The surge in COVID-19 cases worldwide, even in countries like Australia and Japan where outbreaks appeared to be under control, indicates that the impact of the pandemic is likely to be long-term and that global and regional economic recovery will be a slow process, Matsheka said.
He said it is necessary to accelerate many development projects following a sharp reduction in economic growth and national income due to the pandemic.
The design and feasibility study of some large-scale development projects, such as transportation infrastructure projects like roads and railways, will be the main priority, said Matsheka, adding that agricultural infrastructure projects will be fast-tracked.
"Several projects associated with the digital transition have been included along with those focusing on energy independence and indeed energy exports," said Matsheka, adding that COVID-19 has shown how digital programs can provide resilience in the education system.
Botswana's NDP 11 is the first mid-term plan for the implementation of the country's Vision 2036 plan, which runs until March 31, 2023.