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Last Updated
Tuesday 03 August 2021, 12:07 pm.
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Young advocate rebukes govt for neglecting youth

FRANCISTOWN: A youth advocate blames government for its continued negligence of youth development and rolling out inept programmes that are likely to fail.
By PATRICIA EDWIN
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Young advocate rebukes govt for neglecting youth








Bogolo Kenewendo, who is an economist and consultant with Econsult Botswana, explained that high youth unemployment has become a pressing issue in Botswana.Kenewendo, who was one of the speakers at the 12th National Business Conference (NBC) held in Francistown, gave a passionate presentation on how youth are neglected and pushed aside when it comes to entrepreneurship.

Her presentation was titled 'Ngwana yo o sa leleng o swela tharing.' Kewendo blamed the education system for how the youth of this country eventually turn out. She said that entrepreneurship skills should be assimilated into the curriculumn from elementary to high school. 

She said that in principle, the high level of youth unemployment can be attributed to a combination of three causes. "It can be attributed to insufficient jobs because of demand side problem, inappropriate education training and skills and reluctance to take available jobs," she noted.

She said that young people who dream of studying and getting employed often have their expectations shattered.  She further added that the unemployment situation in Botswana reflects the changing economy, limited employment opportunities, urbanisation and the development of education and training.

The youth advocate went on to state that some of the programmes that the government has initiated have failed because they were not well thought out, citing the Out-of-School Youth Grant as an example.  "In my view it was a disaster from the get go because our high schools do not offer business training. How then do you take a Form 5 leaver without

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any form of training under their belt and give them P50,000, expecting him/her to run a sustainable business and create employment?" she challenged.

Kenewendo condemned government's discontinuation of Tirelo Sechaba,  explaining that it was a good programme because it encouraged maturity and gave youth exposure to the outer world, beyond the school and home environment. 

She also said that the fact that the Youth Development Fund (YDF) stands to help youth who earn P2 500 and below was unfair. "What if you earn more than that and you come up with a highly innovative and creative idea? Why limit the people who can work towards transforming and growing this economy?" she asked.

"In some respects, the high rate of youth unemployment in Botswana is typical of developing countries and reflects demographic structures with a predominantly young population," she said.Kenewendo further stated that one solution would be to increase the general rate of job creation in the economy, which would benefit youth.

"The high rate of unemployment amongst the youth suggests that more specific measures are necessary. These include both demand side measures, increasing the range of employment opportunities for the youth, and supply side measures improving fitness of young adults to the available jobs," she stated.

She further said that there may be also a need to improve the functioning of the labour market.Kwenendo pointed out that although people are aware of the high unemployment rate in the country, they may not realise the magnitude of the problem.

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