In an endeavour to capacitate its members and support its transformational agenda, Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has entered into a five-year partnership with the Institute of Development Management (IDM).
IDM is an educational and training institution. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations was signed at Desert Sands Hotel in Palapye on Tuesday.
The partnership is expected to support delivery of the educational programmes for BMWU members, build capacity across strategic structures of the organisation and strengthen the union’s research capacity.
It is also expected to enhance BMWU’s contribution to the country’s human resources development strategy and realisation of its national priorities. The priorities are aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals specifically Goal Eight.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, BMWU President Joseph Tsimako reckoned that the world of work had changed, and so had trade unionism. Despite the rich history and legacy which BMWU has enjoyed in the labor movement in Botswana, the President noted that new trends both national and global have brought about new ways of conducting business in the mining industry.
Tsimako also said trade unions were encouraged to restructure and re-focus their strategies to meet the ever-changing business environment and align such changes to the needs of workers and specifically members.
“The mining industry has evolved into a technologically driven industry, presenting 21st century challenges and opportunities, which require technical approaches and new skills sets that were previously not sought after in the old way of conducting trade union business,” noted the president BMWU when delivering a keynote address at the ceremony.
He stated that in response to the external factors, BMWU had embarked on a transformational drive. In terms of its agenda, BMWU’s focus will be on three key thematic areas: Capacity Building, Sustainability and Transformation.
“It is under the capacity building thematic area that we have partnered with IDM, to assist BMWU with various aspects of its organisational capacity building efforts; support its core mandate of providing quality services to its members and sustaining its legacy as the pioneer Trade Unions in Botswana,” he said.
Additionally, he said a well-capacitated organisation stood a better chance of
“Our goal is for BMWU to take its rightful place in the sustainable development of the country. This partnership with IDM is a step towards the realisation of this goal.
We are elated to be going into partnership with IDM, and we believe the MOU, will strengthen our relationship, and those positive outcomes will come out of this partnership,” he said.
For his part, IDM Regional Director Richard Malikongwa, said the partnership will strengthen their desire to assist the labour movement to venture into areas of academic excellence for the empowerment of its membership.
He also said their resolve as IDM was to cultivate a culture of professionalism in the labour movement. “It is against this backdrop that we encourage you to acquire work ethics that are inward-looking and outward-looking at the same time to provide you with a holistic view of issues.
We would like to see professional miners or former mine workers creating employment for others by engaging in mining-related downstream and upstream industries,” he said.
Malikongwa noted that a lot of our minerals are creating jobs and growing economies in foreign countries because of lack of or limited beneficiation and processing locally. He said lack of investment portfolios driven by the Union culminated into domestic resources being exported out of the country in the form of investments that were used by foreign investors to create jobs for people in their countries.
He said the necessity for a conducive environment that includes policy, institutional, regulatory and legal framework to support all facets of a knowledge-based economy could not be overemphasised. “This partnership will therefore assist us to jointly engage government to make an informed decision on policy review and formulation based on empirical evidence gathered through research and consultancy that is issues based,” he added.