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Ministry invests in youth empowerment

The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) is investing in the development of Botswana’s human capital, particularly targeting the youth and those involved in sports and the arts.

MYSC deputy permanent secretary, Mr Kgopolo Ramoroka revealed this in an interview with BOPA.  

“Our ministry conducts the Youth Development Fund (YDF), an empowerment programme that encourages the active participation of youth in the socio-economic development of the country.  Out of school, marginalized and unemployed youth are assisted to venture into various businesses,” Mr Ramoroka said.

These citizen owned youth enterprises are financed with a start up capital of up to P100 000, half of which is a loan, and the other half and interest free loan.

“Youth venture into different types of businesses, including farming, small stock and various other agricultural business, information communications technology (ICT), salons and other small and medium enterprises that are considered viable,” Mr Ramoroka said.

He said that a 2015 study had indicated that 87 percent of the businesses started through the YDF were operational, and that these were generating a livelihood for beneficiaries and those employed in the businesses.

Mr Ramoroka said his ministry is also supporting the empowerment of the citizen artistic community.

“The government set aside P10 million for the various ministries to spend P500 000 each on purchasing arts and crafts from citizen visual artists, including paintings and sculptures.  Citizen musicians are also engaged by ministries and government departments to perform at their events.  This provides a livelihood to many,” Mr Ramoroka said.

Fashion designers, dressmakers and models are also supported by the ministry, as evidenced by the recent trip organized by the ministry to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Cape Town.

“We gave Batswana fashion designers exposure by taking them to the fashion week in Cape Town, and they have subsequently managed to get exposure and have received orders from outside the country.  We want to keep promoting their costumes; the industry has a strong value chain benefit for models and others,” Mr Ramoroka said.

Additionally, the ministry is working on the establishment of a second government television channel, which will target the youth, and should create further employment and income generation for citizen television production companies.

Also, they invest in education for youngsters who excel in sport.

“We develop talent identified by the Botswana National Sports Commission  (BNSC) through the ‘Re Ba Bona Ha’ programme.  We have centres of sports excellence run in conjunction with the Ministry of Basic Education, as well as the Elite Scholarship and Zebra Fund, run by the BNSC in partnership with the Ministry Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology,” Mr Ramoroka said.

He further said they spread awareness about HIV/AIDS to the youth through supporting initiatives by youth-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in preventative measures coordinated by the Botswana National Youth Centre (BNYC).

These initiatives are part of the government’s broader pledge to make job creation a number one priority; take Batswana out of poverty; increase education funding; eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV; and fight corruption in all its manifestations.ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : Jun 06 Tue,2017

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