Government says it is crucial for media practitioners, especially those reporting on economic and development issues, to be grounded with at least a basic understanding of how markets operate and how businesses falter or prosper.
At a training workshop for business reporters, organized by the Editor’s Forum, Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said for members of the media to bring greater understanding of the world of economics to the wider public they must in the first instance understand it or at least command a fair amount of its rudiments. He said economics is a broad discipline, originally known as political economics, which today has many sub-disciplines that the likes of Keynes would need an economics 101 Course to grasp as well as the Stock Exchange, Global Stock Markets and Currency gyrations. He appreciated the organizers of the workshop, the Editors Forum and the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), for wisely deciding to focus on the crucial area of Small and Medium Enterprises.
“This is an especially timely topic given that Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises or SMMEs have been identified around the world as critical elements for achieving sustainable inclusive development through a more diversified and productive economy,” said Kedikilwe.
He added that by their very nature, SMMEs serve as incubators of innovation and entrepreneurship, adding that they are also, in the aggregate, labor intensive, while their success or failure is inevitably dependent on their productivity like any other business. Kedikilwe said promotion of SMME’s through self-help packages and concessional loans, training and mentoring and facilitation of market access along the supply chain has thus been cascaded into government’s flagship programs.
“Government appreciates that the private media, like the private sector in general have their own challenges. These include the relatively small market and the infancy of indigenous publishing and other media related activities,” he said.
He pointed out that the SMME approach should enable Batswana to successfully compete as players within a regional and global economy whose playing field is not always favorable. He added that it puts an even greater burden to collectively achieve greater levels of productivity by knowing how to profit from opportunity. He stated that such knowledge begins with better information and communication, which is the very business of the media. Kedikilwe said it is through events such as the Editors’ Forum Workshop, that make people better knowledge to both themselves and the wider world. Kedikilwe said in the interest of mutual understanding and progress, he thinks meaningful dialogue of stakeholders must be sustained in order to keep the ship of communication afloat, in the public interest.