Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Olopeng to introduce financial scheme for aspiring youth businesses

Newly elected Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng is to introduce a new financial scheme designed purely for the adult age not catered for in the Youth Development Fund.

Responding to the State of Nation Address on Thursday, Olopeng indicated that the scheme which he is yet to craft its name will run parallel with the current YDF which is ostensibly for the aspiring youth businesses.

“Those chosen will qualify on condition that they employ 90% of youths,” he said, adding his office will be open for all striving to become fully-fledged business individuals.

“Business is not rocket science…it is simply worth the risk. They will be those who succeed and those who will not. The essence in all these endeavours is for Batswana business owners to succeed and make a living while at the same time employing others.”

In conjunction with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Olopeng will strive to ensure markets are available for the businesses.
For his five year period as the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, he will not want to see government funded businesses under-capitalised especially the youths whom he regards as the economic engine of the country.

“Instead of pointing fingers at each other we should be seen to be encouraging and promoting these noble initiatives,” Tonota South Member of Parliament said, referring to the opposition party MP’s whom he argued tend to criticise anything coming from the ruling party.

Gnawed by the criticism, opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change MP Haskins Nkaigwa intervened to clear the air, promising Olopeng his party’s unequivocal support particularly on schemes targeting the youths- the most vulnerable group.

Olopeng will also acknowledge constructive criticisms if it is intended for the good cause as suggested by opposition Botswana Congress Party MP Dithapelo Keorapetse.

“That is what I call advice and will readily accept such,” he said, answering Keorapetse who was fearful the Minister’s speech was littered with threats which will not allow constructive criticism.

Following his five year stint with the Ministry and government enclave, Olopeng will be looking forward to seeing Botswana being a transformed business hub with its inhabitants a living story of success under his stewardship.

“We will like to see billionaires produced in the country. My sole objective is to see Botswana go forward,” the successful local business entrepreneur turned politician concluded, falling short of urging aspirant business individuals to walk inside his shoes for success.


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