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Masisi to tackle unemployment

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has vowed to tackle youth unemployment as one of his top priorities.

President Masisi, who took oath of office on Sunday, has hit the ground running as he set out the priorities of his government in addressing the nation soon after being sworn in.

Mr Masisi said the youth, who constituted 60 per cent of the population of Botswana, were the future leaders, hence it was critical to invest in them, something that he said was equal to building a bridge to the future.

He said it was critical for government to redouble its efforts to optimise the participation of the country’s youth in the economy since their success was the only guarantee of the country’s long term economic prospects.

In order to achieve the mammoth task, Mr Masisi said government would, as a matter of urgency, prioritise the implementation of a combination of strategies required to stimulate accelerated economic growth.

Among those strategies, he cited scaling up access to technical and vocational education and training opportunities, promoting digitisation across both the public and private sectors, devising smarter ways of tackling the poor education attainment at every level, and ensuring that development financing institutions became more proactive and responsive so as to help government achieve the goals of citizen economic empowerment initiatives.

Other strategies he pointed out, included compelling accountants and tax advisors to pay their first professional allegiance in the discharge of their duties to ensure that clients paid in full taxes that were genuinely due, as well as continuing with the measures to ensure the ease of doing business for both foreign and domestic investors.

President Masisi in addition highlighted the need to give concrete effect to the country’s economic diversification aspirations, observing that government would prioritise the implementation of cluster development across various sectors, particularly in the areas of diamond beneficiation, tourism, beef, mining and financial services.

Further, he spoke of the need to strengthen and consolidate the partnership between government and the private sector with the view to further propel the country to greater heights in terms of economic stimulation, job creation and sustainable economic growth.

“In this context, the private sector is therefore expected to step forward and take the lead in catalysing economic activity and sustainable job creation while government plays a facilitative role,” he stated.

The President moreover said Botswana would intensify her efforts to unlock market and business opportunities through agreements such as the SADC Free Trade Area, Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area, AGOA, SADC/EU Economic Partnership Agreement, the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement as well as the bilateral agreements that the country had with other countries and development partners.

Another priority of government would be to continue investing in infrastructure development projects across various sectors including ICT, water, energy, transport and road networks, the aim of which would be to create an enabling environment for commerce and industry as well as to stimulate the economy.

Regarding education, Mr Masisi said government was currently implementing the education sector strategic plan, which he said was designed to transform Botswana’s education.

He said part of the reforms of the sector would include introducing pre-primary education as well as expanding the existing schools facilities and also building new primary and secondary schools throughout the country in a bid to respond to the growing population of Botswana’s towns, villages and settlements.

“In addition, my government will continue to focus on and intensify the maintenance of the existing schools facilities to ensure enabling environment for effective delivery of education, learning and training programmes.

My government will also intervene as necessary to cause the inclusion of new primary and secondary schools in the current NDP11 as per the dictates of our population dynamics,” he said. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Keonee Kealeboga

Location : GABORONE

Event : President's Inauguration

Date : Apr 03 Tue,2018

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