Mayoress Sylvia Muzila said at the opening of the Francistown City Council (FCC) full sitting on Monday that she was very worried by the high rate of failure of youth development projects in the city. She revealed that 129 out of 179 youth business projects that she visited in Francistown were operational, while 39 had collapsed and 14 had relocated.
“The number of projects that collapsed is very high. We need to investigate further to understand what led to the collapse so that we come up with better strategies to assist in resuscitating them,” she said.
She further revealed that a total of 97 applications for funding were received from Francistown youth since the beginning of the 2015/2016 financial year. 63 of these applications have so far been processed. Muzila further said P766, 794.81 was disbursed to fund eight projects in Francistown West. In Francistown East 14 projects have been funded to the tune of P1, 182, 736.06 while P746 321.80 was used to finance four projects in Francistown South.
“This therefore means that total approved funding stands at P2, 695, 852.67,” said Muzila.
She further commended government for coming up with the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP), saying it will help cushion the country from the effects of the 2008 economic global recession.
“The ESP came at the right time because Francistown has embarked on a quest to lure investment into the city. The focus areas that we wish our city to benefit from are; accelerated land servicing, road construction, upgrading of education and health facilities,” said Muzila.
She added that Francistown will also benefit from a boost to the local manufacturing and services, achieving food security and job creation through improved agricultural production and leveraging ICT for the creation of an e-society through expanded e-services.
She further thanked President Khama for mentioning that boreholes will be drilled and equipped for poverty eradication beneficiaries to engage in horticultural production in Francistown.
“If everything goes well, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. This ESP will help develop Francistown,” she said.
As part of efforts to fast track investment in the city, the lay-out plan for plot 2531 which is currently being used as a golf course was presented to the Physical Planning Committee on 13th November and was given conditional approval.
The Mayoress said there has been significant progress in the refurbishment of the Francistown abattoir, as a contractor has been engaged to refurbish it. Among other important issues, Muzila said preparations for the upcoming Botswana Games which will be held in Francistown on the 5th ÔÇô 12th December are on good course.
“We expect to host more than 3, 000 participants of different sporting codes from all over the country. We all want this event to be successful therefore we need everybody’s commitment,” she said.