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Botswana: Selebi-Phikwe Technical Assistance Project (Loan 2695-BT)

The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) for the Botswana Selebi-Phikwe Technical Assistance Project (Loan 2695-BT) was prepared by the Africa Regional Office. The Borrower's comments on the project are included in Annex B. The US$7.6 million loan, approved in FY86, was extended for a year and closed on December 31, 1994. An undisbursed balance of US$0.7 million was cancelled.

The loan's objectives were to diversify the economic base of the mining town of Selebi-Phikwe, strengthen local administration, and upgrade the housing policy planning and implementation capabilities of the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing (MLGLH). The project sought to provide (a) staffing and operating costs of the Selebi-Phikwe Regional Development Promotion Unit (SPRDPU), responsible for coordinating the development of industry, irrigated agriculture, and a transport network in the area; (b) financing and technical assistance for the national in-service training program; and (c) funding to help MLGLH develop its housing strategy and program.

The project's main objectives were achieved. The regional development program succeeded in creating new jobs. The pilot agriculture program helped determine the circumstances under which small and medium irrigated farms would be viable. The expected road projects materialized. Though the in-service training project failed to heed the recommendation of an evaluation study to address the training of counterpart staff, the project component succeeded in training more local government officials than anticipated. One project componentthe program to strengthen MLGLH's housing strategy and program-was not implemented: responsibility for the project component was never assigned within MLGLH and the Bank did not follow up on the matter.

The ICR rates the project's outcome as satisfactory, sustainability as likely and the achievement of institutional development as modest. OED agrees with the above ratings. OED rates Bank performance as satisfactory. The ICR highlights the importance of two major lessons: the need for (a) making mid-course corrections as soon as they are identified in evaluation exercises; and (b) specifying project monitoring indicators during project design.

The ICR is of satisfactory quality. Future operational plans were being prepared at the time of the ICR mission but were not available when the ICR was submitted. No audit is planned.

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