MASUNGA: The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) youth wing has resolved to formalise the party’s National Youth Council.
The decision was taken at their elective congress in Masunga over the weekend. Re-elected youth wing leader, Andy Boatile, said it was important for the party youth wing to develop a formalised council.
“We do host gatherings similar to the youth national council but they are not formalised.
They are usually held depending on the wishes of the youth leader. We want them to now be part of the party calendar of events,” he said.
Boatile further said the council would afford BDP youth an opportunity to deliberate on matters of their interest, on a regular basis.
He added that BDP youth had also resolved that the party would pay 50 percent subsidy to individuals interested in contesting the party primaries.
“This is just another way to increase youth participation in local politics,” he said.
Boatile added that they had also resolved that 60 percent of youth should be made specially elected councillors after the next general elections and beyond. “We have also resolved that the youth wing should have regional committees.
Currently it only has the executive of the youth wing and branches. Regional committees will close the gap that exists between executive leadership and branches in the process ensuring that BDP youth wing affairs are run smoothly,” he explained.
The BDP youth also want the government internship programme to be turned into direct employment.
Boatile explained that they wanted the duration of internship across all government organisations to be treated as probation leading to permanent employment.
He emphasised that this could possibly reduce youth unemployment.
“As part of the resolutions, private companies that also employ youth after they complete the internship programme should also have tax rebates,” he said.
Moreover, the BDP youth want the government to review the Youth Development Fund. “For example challenges faced by the youth who want to apply for funds to set up businesses differ, based on the basis of where they come from but the requirements they need to get funds are similar,” he said.
Boatile added that they also wanted the funding scheme to be reviewed, in order for them to assess youth applications based on the challenges they faced per district.