Killing BNYC is not a solution

The Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) is on its deathbed.

While the organisation has a critical role to play in youth matters, lately, the BNYC has been in the news for all the wrong reasons,

From its inception in 1974, as established by a Presidential directive, BNYC was seen as a vehicle for youth development and coordination. Under its wing are 33 district youth councils and 50 affiliates, which are non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The organisation’s other mandate is to coordinate youth NGOs, to advise government on youth issues and to disseminate information to the youth. It was also mandated to guide, encourage and plan youth activities amongst the non-government sector. The mission of the council is to create a sustained and enabling environment that will empower a young person in all aspects of human development through coordination, collaboration, networking, lobbying and advocacy with various stakeholders.

When the founding President Sir Seretse Khama founded the council, he could not have wanted it to be breeding ground for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), as it is the case now. Over the years, some of the finest leaders today went through this council. It groomed some of the leaders such as legislator Ndaba Gaolathe, lawyer Batsho Nthoi and corporate executive Sipho Showa.

Others who went through the BNYC structures are lawyer Anthony Morima, politicians Kagiso Ntime, Elias Rantleru; the most notable being the assistant minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Philip Makgalemele, who once served as executive director of the BNYC.

These are some of the few whom many of our youth see as role models. They are envied and celebrated by the youth. This is because during their time at the council, they were allowed to make mistakes, correct themselves and rise to greater heights;  that says it is acceptable to make mistakes, learn and do the next right thing.

Successful people in life made some mistakes along their way to success; and mistakes by the youth are plentiful at the youth council. Some are not genuine but bordered on thievery and manipulation. We do not want to comment about some of the investigations and suspensions at the BNYC because of the sub judice rule. These are matters before courts of law and are best handled there.

But this will not stop us from advising that dissolution of the BNYC is not in the best interest of the youth of this country. We have to worry when politicians who have used the BNYC for own partisan gains, take drastic action at the slightest sign of youth leadership off tracking. Dissolving the leadership of the BNYC was ill advised. The move was done to spite the very youth that we want to groom into morally upright and successful individuals.

It is not too late to reverse the intended move. We are hopeful that the power that be will soberly reconsider this decision. 

By killing the BNYC we are being spiteful of the founding president’s legacy.

Today’s thought

“Young people need models, not critics.”


–  John Wooden

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