BOCCIM (Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower) is a Business Association of Employers representing employers in all sectors of the Botswana economy in an advocacy capacity.
The organization has received criticism and complaints for lacking clarity in guiding its advocacy policy and agenda. In an attempt to rectify these issues BOCCIM made resolutions such as the BOCCIM advocacy and engagement platform, which consulted both national and sectoral levels. For this resolution BOCCIM consulted the President of the Country Chairs, the High Level Consultative Council, the Sector Minister Chair and the Local Level Consultative Council. However, the BOCCIM’s lack of clear and formalized recommendations harms its capacity to influence regulations, policies and laws affecting private enterprise growth and development.
There is a lack of research and evidence concerning the challenges facing the BOCCIM. This limits the ability to produce detailed papers concerning their stance and engagement with the government and other key stakeholders. This lack of research also limits the ability to examine the effectiveness of BOCCIM’s reforming policies and any monitoring of reform implementation.
How employers’ organizations dealt with it
In order to enhance advocacy efforts, BOCCIM participates actively in the Botswana Biennial National Business Conference (NBC). At these conferences BOCCIM has received complaints from industry sectors regarding a lack of structure to its framework. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) provided BOCCIM with technical and financial support to assess Botswana’s business environment. Through the use of the Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises (EESE) tool-kit, the assessment generated focus group discussions by the industry sector. A list of membership was needed to formulate policy advocacy.
After the NBC, the Botswana EESE Report and the Industry Sector Focus Group Discussions, BOCCIM developed its business agenda and implement a strategy for evidence based advocacy. This strategy recommends policy measures, reforms and interventions toward sustainable enterprise for the next three years.
BOCCIM Business Agenda is aligned to the Botswana National Development Plan (NDP10), the Private Sector Development Strategy of Botswana and the ILO Decent Work Country Programme strategic plan. The dissemination of the BOCCIM Business Agenda increased their number of members and their accountability on the agendas’ implementation. The dissemination of the agenda will also increase the awareness of the government and stakeholders on BOCCIM’s position, this encourages a compiling of resources towards the implementation of the agenda.
Results, outcomes and main interventions
The Botswana EESE Report, Industry Sector Focus Group Discussions and BOCCIM Business Agenda provided information and a structure for BOCCIM advocacy efforts. The implementation of this Business Agenda has yielded two evidence based policy position papers.
Immediate and expected long term results
The EESE report is to be launched for public availability in the near future. The capacity of BOCCIM in lobbying and advocating will be enhanced and more effective. In the long term, various interventions identified in the Business Agenda will contribute to competition among enterprises, wealth creation, increased job opportunities and better socioeconomic development.