Corruption Risks and Vulnerabilities in Botswana's Key Institutions and Processes

The fight against corruption in Botswana has not been without pitfalls and drawbacks. One of these has been that some of Botswana's institutions and guiding processes have unintentionally provided loopholes for corruption to take root. These include the overbearing presence of the country's executive arm of government, over the anti-corruption agencies and also the lack of stringent anti-corruption policies in government operations. To counter this, government will have to commit more to the anti-corruption fight, such as with inacting and implementing an effective asset declaration and disclosure law among others.

The Role of the Private Sector in Fighting Corruption

The private sector has played a prominent role in Botswana’s development and economic growth. Due to Botswana’s overinflated public sector, the private sector has often depended solely on government expenditure, procurement and tender systems for their own profit generation and survival. As a result, it has become almost impossible to examine corruption in Botswana without the involvement of private sector players. Vulnerabilities and risks to Botswana’s key institutions and processes are exacerbated by the unguarded infiltration of private economic interests into the public sector through political patronage. There is also a deteriorating culture of compliance amongst private sector operators due to lack of strong ethics and values that govern their anti-corruption practices.

Strong Institutions: A key Component to Helping People Rise

Strong and effective institutions are an integral part of the service delivery of any government. The effectiveness of these institutions is however not something that is a by product or happens by chance; governments need to be intentional about strengthening them and must be clear about their mandates. Coordination, data capability, implementation and quality of bureaucracy are four indicators of strong institutions that have been put forward.

Youth in the Fight Against Corruption

Botswana youth's participation in politics and gneral issues of governance is quite low de spite the fact that the youth population is the majority. A trickle down effect of this apathy towards political participation is a lack of involvement in anti-corruption efforts. The absence of such a large part of the society frustrates the fight against corruption and denies anti-corruption initiatives the youth voice which could ensure their sustainability, considering that the youth are the future leaders of Botswana. It is imperative that the youth take up the fight against corruption, to ensure that their voice is heard and they have a role in shaping the Botswana of tomorrow that they envision.

2021 Parliamentary Bills Repprt

A summary of the motions debated in Botswana's National Assembly in the year 2021. There is also discussion where necessary, of the history of certain Acts as per enactment and amendments as the case may be.

Democratic Performance and the Need for Objective Citizens’ Input

This paper is based on BCPI expert roundtable discussions meant to educate citizens on how to measure democratic performance. Botswana is battling different economic and social problems in the form of a high unemployment rate, endemic corruption, inadequate provision of quality social services and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. These are all performance indicators (Covid being a temporary one) that speak to the lived realities of citizens and through which one can make an assessment of the government of the day. The performance of a democratic government should be looked at objectively by citizens without too much partisan influence. The paper makes a case that the progress of the nation should take precedence over the need to come into power of opposition, and that to retain power for a ruling party.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Procurement Accountability and Democratic Practice

In March 2020, Botswana as with the rest of the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis demanded both financial and legislative and constitutional provisions to serve as socio economic impact mitigation efforts against the pandemic. This brief explores the governance issues caused by the pandemic and gaps thereof especially in terms of looking to the future and being better prepared for pandemics and national emergencies. The ethical issues arising from the public procurement process owed to the fact that at the time of spending these public funds, democratic governance had given way for a state of public emergency which allows for restrictions on certain freedoms and liberties and processes.


Whistleblowing Act, 2016: “an Act to provide for the manner in which a person may disclose conduct adverse to the public interest; to provide for the manner of reporting and investigations of disclosures of impropriety; and the protection against victimization of persons who make the disclosures; and to provide for related matters”

Whistleblowing has been identified as one of the tools effective for combating fraud and other corrupt acts. It can expose not only corruption, but also a swing of activities – such as environmental risk or discrimination – that can be harmful not only to the public service or company itself, but to the public at large. Yet people may hesitate to disclose information, either because they are unaware of how they can, or because they are frightened of the consequences.

A policy on whistleblowing within organizations and departments is a first step for assisting the whistle-blower to disclose but also embedding a culture of openness for everybody’s benefit. Botswana Centre for Public Integrity (BCPI) and the Botswana Federation of Trade Union (BFTU) seeks to draft a Code of Good Practice on Whistleblowing to provide guidelines to assist employers and employees on how to make, facilitate, and manage disclosures, as a way of inspiring whistleblowing policies in various organizations, departments and companies in the Botswana context, against the Botswana Whistleblowing Act (2016).


The seminar started had representatives were drawn from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including; Botswana Centre for Public Integrity (BPCI), Botswana Council for Non Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO), Ditshwanelo, Botswana Federation of Trade Union (BFTU) the media, Office of the President, Office of the Ombudsman and Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC). The overall objective of the seminar was to unpack the Whistleblowing Act No. 9 of 2016. This entailed discussing and analyzing the Act to gain a common understanding of it.

Learn our findings

Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs address urgent policy problems and potential solutions, providing historical context and economic analysis to buttress their recommendations.

Read more
Position Papers

Positions Papers present comprehensive opinions about particular issues by conveying the findings of our research for the purpose of knowledge transfer.

Read more

Media decrypts our work in motion, pictures and written documents untangling integrity and corruption.

Read more

Integrity Voices