Tuesday, November 24, 2020

After BNYC, what’s next?

Recently it has come to our attention that cabinet has pretty much resolved to do away with the Botswana National Youth Council. The minister responsible for BNYC has pretty confirmed that under its current set up, the BNYC days have come to an end.

He has vaguely suggested that BNYC will be replaced with another organization which he will define with time. He says he wants to make that new organization more inclusive and also more representative of the young people of this country. The coming to an end of BNYC as currently structured is an end of an era.

The organization was created in the mid seventeen by an order of a Presidential directive. It had very noble intentions chief of which was to advise government on issues pertaining to young people. Ordinarily, the power of BNYC should have exponentially risen in recent years. This is because, based on the demographics, the number of young people in this country has grown dramatically during that time. But the power of BNYC has not grown. Instead it has reduced and the organization all but became a shadow of its past. Few young people will as a matter of fact mourn the passing away of BNYC.

This is because very few people could relate to BNYC, much less know what the organization stood for. We have always been of the view that BNYC was an organization with a huge potential. That potential however has remained a mirage, unrealized and lately almost forgotten. BNYC was never a perfect organization. It biggest weakness was not an internal structural defect. Rather it was that the ruling party looked at it as a breeding nursery for future leaders of the ruling party. From its inception, BNYC never stood a chance.

It was highly politicized. This repelled those young people who had no appetite for party politics, but also those who political views were at odds with the ruling party. While we have no reason to mourn the death of BNYC, we have no reason to be overly optimistic about the future. This country does not need politicians who are acting as image creators. What is needed is a leadership We are inclined to give the minister a benefit of chance. We however will not hesitate to hold him accountable if in dissolving the BNYC, he also intends to replace it with a similarly redundant organization.

The minister should first and foremost be willing to tell his party not to meddle with whatever new organization he is going to create. He should manifestly ban party politics from what organization he wants to create. This must be shown in both letter and spirit. Otherwise the nation will in a short time realize that they are being shortchanged, that they have been duped by a politician eager to score easy points through public relations rather than intrinsic value addition.

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The Telegraph November 25

Digital edition of The Telegraph, November 25, 2020.