Free public education, health in Africa? Yes, it's possible

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botswana’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, tells Devex how revenue from mining and tourism addresses the country’s development needs.

In what is considered a case study of proper management of natural resources for a developing country, Botswana uses revenues from mining and tourism to fund free education and public health care, so citizens understand for instance why they must follow the country’s development and environmental policies.

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botswana’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, recently discussed the country’s “consolidated fund” in a video interview with Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones on the sidelines of the Annual Democracy Forum in Gaborone, Botswana. Venson-Moitoi, who has held various cabinet-level positions since 1999, said that the recognition that resources can be depleted necessitates “very careful management.”

Watch the above clip where she shares more lessons learned from balancing interests in energy, extractives and tourism in her country.

#DemocracyMatters is a three-week series exploring the intersection of democracy, development and natural resources management in partnership with International IDEA, the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

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About the author

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    Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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