MFDP avails 2015 Budget Speech in Braille

Finance minister Kenneth Matambo
Finance minister Kenneth Matambo

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has printed a braille version summary of the 2015 Budget Speech, in both Setswana and English.

This is an effort to make the Budget Speech accessible and available to all members of our society.In 2014, the Ministry printed 25 copies of the Annual Budget Speech in braille in English version and 25 copies in Setswana.

This year, the Ministry increased the numbers and printed 50 copies of each. The Ministry sais it is committed to this endeavour and will print more copies of the speech in braille in the coming years if resources permit. This is in line with the Vision 2016 Pillars of an ‘Informed and Educated Nation’ and to be a ‘Nation that is Compassionate, Just and Caring.’

Just like other members of the society, the visually impaired have the right to be informed and educated on how the national budget is allocated, and more importantly how it will address their needs, challenges and aspirations.

To reach out to people with visual impairment, the Ministry says it collaborates very closely with the Coordinating Office for People with Disabilities (PWDs) at the Office of the President (OP), which distributed copies of the 2014 Braille version of the Budget Speech to various tertiary institution and National libraries.

These included University of Botswana, Limkokwing University, Botho University, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, ABM University College, Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies, national libraries in main villages and towns and the Botswana Council for the Disabled, as the mother body for organisations dealing with PWDs, as well as other NGOs offering services to people with visual impairment.

The Coordinating Office for People Living with Disabilities at the Office of the President will use the same channels to distribute the 2015 copies of the Budget Speech in braille.

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is mandated with the responsibility of coordinating National Development Planning, and mobilisation, as well as prudently managing available financial and economic resources. The Ministry is also responsible for the formulation of economic and financial policies for sustainable economic development, as well as preparation of the annual budget speeches.

The Budget Speech is an essential activity of national importance, as it informs the nation on allocation of the national resources in the form of recurrent as well as development budgets for implementation of projects and programmes.

The Ministry considers it important for society to be informed about the budgeting processes and how available resources are distributed.

The Ministry has stated that it uses various communication modes to ensure that all members of society have access to the annual Budget Speech.

These include live readings of the budget speech on the national television, with sign interpretation, as well as live broadcasts on local radio stations. The Ministry also produces a simplified version of the speech in English and Setswana called ‘The People’s Guide to the Budget’, for ease of understanding, and the ‘Budget in Brief’, which depicts graphs and tables, to cater for professionals and the international audience.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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