The presidentís address of the policy position of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) could not have come at a better time. With over 100,000 graduates roaming the streets unemployed while ECONSULT reports a continued decline in formal employment, this indeed is a nation at a crossroads in desperate need of the leadership of President Ndaba and the AP to lead it out of this Domkrag-created abyss.
A policy position that appreciates youth as worthy of investment to realise their dreams, as employable in sustainable jobs that make a meaningful contribution to the economy, as deserving of a decent, higher pay is just what our country is thirsty for.
This address comes as we count down the days to listen to the yearly circus christened the budget speech, when the BDP led government continues with its yearly rhetoric of lies and empty promises in a bid to appear like they care, when it is clear that they don’t. In spite of the 2017 episode they titled ‘Inclusive growth for realisation of employment creation and poverty eradication’, we have seen this economy at its worst in recent years.
The mining sector continues to perform poorly as a result of government closure of BCL, a decision Cabinet took like blind men groping in the dark as revealed in the statutory report compiled by Nigel Dixon - Warren. The ripple effects of this performance are being felt across the industry while the BDP-led government watches like spectators at a window. Do they even care?
Formal jobs created stand at an average of 2,000 per year since 2009 in a country with more than 100,000 unemployed graduates. Still, this government that has detached itself from the basic needs of its people continues to exploit the youth of this country with impunity.
As the AP delivers a policy position that embraces youth, the government is embarassingly giving excuses after excuses to avoid paying youth-owned companies for the work they did for the Ministry of Youth in the Miss Botswana pageant, shifting blame while the poor kids run
Does it look like it cares?
As the president delivers a stern warning to those who bleed the country of money meant for welfare and development through corruption, the government is failing to instil confidence that corruption is not and will not be tolerated. Isaac Kgosi and his cronies walk around with their liberties intact despite clearly having a case to answer in the Petroleum fund looting, a fund that is meant to cushion us against the painful impacts of a fuel increase.
As we endure the painful burden of three price increases in one year and more expected to come, we ask once again, does this government care at all?
We are fortunate to be under the leadership of a fearless man who is not afraid to be the lone voice calling out corruption when other leaders remain mum and play dead when we speak of millions of pula misappropriated, but beating their chests like a modern day King Kong when discussions shift to goats and sheep given freely. We can only hope Batswana give President Ndaba and the AP an opportunity to put this country on the pedestal it deserves.
We can do much better. Only when we shun a government that identifies under the pitiable guises of a facilitator of a conducive environment for the private sector to create jobs, and not the rightful identity of a creator of jobs can we make effective use of the idle hands and minds of the youths sitting despondent at home.
We must be progressive in how we approach this economy. We must be progressive in our leadership.
Tswelelopele ya botlhe!
Young Progressives League