1. The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law, and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), a human rights organization committed to advancing the right to health in Botswana, closely observed the presentation of the 2024/2025 Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honorable Peggy Serame, on February 5th, 2024.
  • We  applaud the Government of Botswana for its commitment to equality, social inclusion, and democratic principles, as highlighted in the recently announced 2024/2025 budget. While we commend certain initiatives, we also express concern over the reduced allocation to the Ministry of Health.
  • According to the Minister’s speech, the budget strives to promote equality and inclusivity by significantly increasing funding for gender mainstreaming, youth development, and social protection programs. BONELA appreciates the government’s emphasis on equal opportunities for all citizens, especially vulnerable groups, and welcomes the introduction of political party funding, which aligns with democratic principles.
  • However, the reduction in the Ministry of Health’s share is a cause for concern. BONELA recognizes the need for comprehensive audits, as mentioned in the speech, and hopes that this initiative will enhance accessibility and the right to health for all citizens. A comprehensive audit spanning the past 10 years is commendable and is anticipated to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health services.
  • The Gender Responsive Public Finance Management Assessment from the previous financial year indicates a need for further efforts in aligning and recognizing gender issues within the public finance management cycle. BONELA supports the call to strengthen the coordination of gender equality policies and budget implementation to produce well-structured data for tracking gender mainstreaming across all sectors.
  • On the positive side, BONELA commends the substantial increase in the Research and Development budget, emphasizing its potential impact on strategic intervention categories, such as Human Health. This investment in research will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of health outcomes and innovative solutions.
  • The allocation of P15.54 billion, 24.4 percent of the proposed recurrent budget, to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development is a commendable move towards fostering a knowledgeable and skilled populace.
  • While the proposed budget includes increases for various social protection allowances, BONELA expresses disappointment that the needs of persons with disabilities (PWDs) have not been adequately addressed. We urge the government to comprehensively consider the unique challenges faced by PWDs in future budget allocations.
  • In conclusion, BONELA acknowledges the positive steps taken towards promoting equality, inclusivity, and democratic principles in the proposed budget. However, we call for continued collaboration and dialogue to address the gaps identified, particularly in health and disability inclusion.

For more information, contact BONELA on:

Katlego Sechele at ksechele@bonela.org  or 72282025

Cindy Kelemi at cindyk@bonela.org  or 72385054