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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Consequences of modernisation in Botswana : lessons and alternatives for the livestock sector Keatimilwe, Kagiso P.


The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the effects of post-independence modernisation policies within the cattle sector in Botswana and to suggest alternative ways of dealing with the challenge of development. The study pursues four research objectives which are: 1. to examine the environmental effects of cattle production by discussing the impacts of policies on disease control as well as changes in rangeland condition; 2. to discuss the social impacts of the modernisation approach to development by examining data on the distribution of cattle, the financial returns that accrue to owners, and the level of subsidies which the sector receives from the government; 3. to determine the degree of vulnerability of the Botswana cattle sector to decisions made outside the country by investigating the influence of the EEC and certain environmental groups on the beef industry. 4. to suggest a set of principles aimed at making development more ecologically sensitive, more beneficial to most people, and more self-reliant in terms of economic and political decisions. Modernisation theory according to Hirschman and Rostow contends that inter-dependence with capitalist economies is a prerequisite for development (primarily defined as economic growth and not addressing environmental issues); that the accumulation of wealth will lead to the reduction of poverty; and that all countries can benefit from the development process. By contrast, Dependency theory according to authors including Prebisch, Frank, Amin, and Sunkel has argued that inter-dependence with capitalist economies retards development; that the national accumulation of wealth does not lead to improved living conditions for much of the population; and that there is little prospect for economic growth in the peripheral countries. The analysis of policies and measures adopted by the Botswana government involving land reform, disease control, pricing and marketing policies and the use of subsidies reveals that economic growth and access to markets have been attained at the expense of both environmental quality and equity. Future policy for the livestock sector cannot ignore criticism of these impacts without jeopardising the beef trade which has largely been determined by the EEC. This European Community influence raises questions about the extent to which Botswana is in control of her development policy. Drawing largely from the work of Gardner, the thesis addresses the above concerns by suggesting a set of policy guidelines which identify both the ends and means of decision-making. This framework recognises that the goals of development must include ecological sustainability and economic and political self-reliance in addition to material benefits. Although it recognises the magnitude of the development problems, the thesis concludes by suggesting specific issues which should be investigated to improve living conditions in the country.

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