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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Is Botswana stagnating?

Yes. According a new paper that assesses the extent to which Botswana has become more neopatrimonial, as measured by three features - “systematic concentration of political power,” “provision of personal favors,” and “use of state resources” :

Recent developments...indicate decreasing elite cohesion, reduced acceptance of the BDP among voters, stalled economic diversification, and, in turn, stronger reliance on neopatrimonial exchanges and some authoritarian means. President Ian Khama has particular big-man potential and the recent cabinet expansion has served to accommodate critics within the ruling party. Finally, despite positive Transparency International ratings, there is evidence of the misuse of state resources, particularly in the area of land sales, housing and loan-funds. Neopatrimonial tendencies in Botswana are on the rise, albeit in a restricted manner relative to its neighbors. Nevertheless, as evidenced by the indicators, the “African miracle” is clearly stagnating.

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