Former president of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire, is concerned about the growing spirit of self entitlement that appears to have replaced Botswana’s principle of self-reliance, especially amongst the youth.
“It is very worrisome that the spirit of self-help is fading away and it is being replaced by that of entitlement. Batswana in general have taken up to looking up to government for everything. It is imperative to first accept it as our individual responsibility to develop ourselves and our communities before we can demand assistance from elsewhere,” said Masire.
The former president made this statement recently when he commended the fruitful efforts at youth empowerment and development that was being made by organisations such as the Junior Chambers International Botswana (JCI).
JCI hosted a presidential dinner at Gaborone Sun where Masire was the guest of honour.
Commenting on the theme of the dinner, ‘Active Citizens in Action’, the former president said the theme ‘could not have been more appropriate’ as it was well thought out, especially at a time where the youth are being called upon to take effective part in national issues that affect them directly.
“As active citizens you are therefore called upon to do all in your capabilities to take yourself, your community and your country to greater heights,” said Masire.
“You will need to put yourselves second and not first. You will have to think less about immediate monetary returns and living in luxury. I am not saying you should not strive to lead pleasant lives, I am only saying progress and development in life needs hard work, sacrifice and most importantly, prioritising and strategic planning,” he said.
“Active and good citizens should have the willingness and the commitment to sacrifice and volunteer for the sake of improving not only their lives but even that of fellow citizens,” said Masire.
Malaki Kereeditse is to take over from Prince Bashe as the president of the Botswana branch of the international organisation that has more than 115 countries across the world as members.
Bashe, in his address as the outgoing president of the organisation, revealed that he believed JCI to be the answer to Botswana in terms of leadership production.
He advised his successor to brace himself for the next 12 months of his leadership because they will prove to be difficult and demanding.
“Just remember that what we do today may not necessarily be for our benefit but for those of tomorrow, we are standing here today because of the hard work made by our forefathers, we also commend the IEC for the significant rise in the number of youth registered for voting but we also believe that more could have been done,” said Bashe.
The new committee also comprises of executive vice president, Thatayaone Kokorwe, vice-president, Palo Mokwena, director of programs, Moalosi Rathari, director of training, Davis Mogapi and treasurer, Kesolofetse Ipotseng.