Entrepreneurship has been preffered as a major solution to employment creation and economic growth.
Speaking at a media briefing on unemployment and job creation hosted by Afena Capital, Chief Executive Officer of Innate Investment Solutions, Lynette Ntuli, said entrepreneurs could change the face of the economy for the better, if given enough support.
“Entrepreneurs by their nature are risk takers, and given the opportunity and space to explore their markets, they can change the face of the economy and the labour market,” she said.
Ntuli added that Botswana’s economy could improve if businesses invested any of their cash reserves into the economy. “There is a need to merge the interests of enterprises and infrastructure to create jobs and a skilled workforce that has the capacity to improve the benefit infrastructure and economic growth in the region,” she said.
Ntuli added that entrepreneurship and business were key solutions to the challenges faced by young people globally, where skills, employment and poverty alleviation were concerned. “It is not surprising that interest in developing small business has increased exponentially in the past five years, but it is widely and solely driven by the need for money, as opposed to passion, intent and well-thought out design,” she said.
Afena Capital Managing Director, Bakang Seretse said government, parastatals and large private companies would not create most new jobs as most people thought. He pointed out that instead, more jobs could be created by SMMEs. “Botswana is defined as
Seretse also said infrastructure spending had no exponential effect on unemployment because of the imported Asian labour. “Infrastructure spending stimulates demand, creates jobs, boosts spending and drives growth through a multiplier effect,” he said.
Seretse further said Botswana had to deliberately create indigenous financial institutions to support the national objectives including investment banks and asset management firms. He said this would ensure that more locally owned businesses were created, as well as fund national projects. “Botswana has a high number of foreign owned firms. This leads to the conclusion that we have a financial security threat. Local companies need to take pride in gainful employment they create and sustain,” he said.
Botswana’s growth rate slowed from an average of around seven percent to 4.5 percent in 2015, making the creation of jobs difficult, particularly for the youth. Analysts have revealed that youth unemployment extended far beyond the immediate crisis of individuals lacking a wage, but could also be a long term national threat to political stability, as well as the viability of the country’s fiscal and social security systems and the social integration.