Mmegi Online :: ‘Policies need review from time to time’ – UB academic
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‘Policies need review from time to time’ – UB academic

Observers and analysts have on many occasions hailed Botswana’s programmes, but criticised the way they are implemented to benefit an intended group. Following the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng’s recent pronouncement that he is lobbying government to increase entertainment hours, Staff Writer GOITSEMODIMO KAELO interrogates the situation. He finds out what this means in an interview with social policy lecturer at the University of Botswana, Keitseope Nthomang
By Staff Writer Fri 18 Mar 2016, 15:54 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: ‘Policies need review from time to time’ – UB academic








In his view, University of Botswana (UB) lecturer, Keitseope Nthomang said the youth minister lobbying for change in policy might not necessarily reflect a failure of the current one.

The professor said this is because policies need to be reviewed from time to time to assess if they are reaping their intended benefits.  However, he is of the view that a lot of the programmes, especially those related to curbing alcohol abuse have not been successful. This, he said is because people continue to drink every morning in most villages before bars even open. He however suggested that there is a developing trend of people getting a bit sober.

“People in their own right are getting a bit sober, not necessarily because of the regulations, but as a choice. What we used to observe in social occasions whereby people would cause chaos after consuming alcohol, we don’t see that anymore. But on the flip side we see huge revenue generated through the alcohol levy, which doesn’t show that drinking levels have changed,” he said.

He said that this reflects that the policies are not delivering on the objectives. “Perhaps we are reaping the negative benefits of the policies.” His main worry is that government has not adopted an evident staged-programming. He said that policies made are not informed as no studies or research has been done before they were enacted.

“Whatever policy you come up with has to address specific issues and must be informed

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at least by a quick survey. Coming up with a policy without gathering empirical evidence is like shooting in the dark,” Nthomang said. He cautioned against enacting policies based on emotional reaction. Nthomang further said that he is puzzled as to how things are done in Botswana.  He said that he finds the minister’s pronouncement surprising because no evidence has been submitted to show that there is need to increase entertainment hours.

He said that Olopeng has been tasked with a complex portfolio, especially the youth who are frustrated by unemployment and a poor social status. “I would be convinced if he was talking from an informed point backed by evidence. We can’t run a country like a small family. We need to engage stakeholders,” Nthomang said. He said that the country’s liberal democracy has created problems in how the country is run.  He said that in Botswana, one can become a minister regardless of the capabilities he possesses adding that this is continuously destroying the basic values of the society and the country. He said that a minister should bring expertise and have experience of governance. He said that he finds it absurd how ministers are appointed. “Just because you won elections and you are in Parliament, you are elected minister without consideration of experience and background.  I am not saying this with regard to Olopeng, but my point is we cannot just appoint people from nowhere,” he said.

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