The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Keletso Rakhudu, says LEA is currently collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Skills and Development to jointly revise the curriculum of the various education institutions to include entrepreneurship education modules.
Speaking during LEA's 2013 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) Pitso held at Fairgrounds on the theme " Building a sustainable and competitive SMME sector as a key to economic diversification; challenges, opportunities and lessons learnt", Rakhudu said through the same collaboration, the two ministries will further provide for the entrepreneurship awareness workshops for senior secondary school leaving students across the country for them to, among other things, view entrepreneurship as an alternative to formal employment. The workshops, which, he said, started last February, have already benefited 13,651 tertiary level students and Form Five students across the country.
"This is a milestone which will instill entrepreneurship interest in tomorrow's generation who ought to further contribute towards our economic diversification agenda," he said. Last week in Parliament, Francistown MP Tshelang Masisi, raised a concern that the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government is failing to educate Batswana by imparting skills. Masisi further questioned what the ministries of Trade and Industry and that of Education, were doing to impart skills especially to the youth. He argued that the two should work together to ensure Batswana
According to the 2007 study by BIDPA, SMMEs contribute 75 percent of the formal sector, said the assistant minister.Therefore, he said that Botswana's booming economy is because of SMMEs, the sector which plays a crucial role towards achieving industrial and economic development objectives. Further, Rakhudu said they play an important role in employment creation, especially for the unskilled and semi-skilled.
"LEA and government have been able to provide the necessary interventions for SMMEs through, among others, outreach programmes for constructive partnerships," he added.The assistant minister revealed that LEA has managed to capacitate a total of 7, 879 SMMEs through various training and successfully facilitated the development of 971 business plans which he said obtained funding to the value of P856.2 million. However, Rakhudu said that the development of entrepreneurs and enterprises has not been without challenges. "The entrepreneur - appreciated as the basic resource for SMME sector development - has adverted to dependency as opposed to self-reliance", he noted.He said this change in mindset has undermined the capacity of the entrepreneur to be enterprising.