Jobs for youth could boost economic growth�World Bank

Botswana could improve incomes per capita, reduce poverty and increase growth through generating jobs for its increasing number of young workers, according to a recently released World Bank Group report. But this chance may be hindered by the country’ already high unemployment rate, if not tackled.

Botswana’s youth unemployment rate is estimated at 33% with general unemployment rate projected at 19%. The report: Forever young? Social policies for a changing population in Southern Africa, illustrates how today’s social policies can be shaped to reap benefits presented by the region’s changing population leading to wealthier and more productive future generations, fostering growth and equity. It explores conditions necessary for the region to take full advantage of its growing working-age population.

“Botswana and its Southern Africa peers have a chance to break intergenerational poverty by promoting social services that invest in the potential of its people from a very young age and by putting its highest number of people to work through harnessing its most valuable resource -- having an increasing number of youth present in the next three decades,” said Guangzhe Chen, World Bank Group Country Director for Southern Africa. “But this is particularly challenging in an environment that is already plagued by very high joblessness”.

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