The government of Botswana has reportedly put in place measures to assist out of school youth who are apparently battling with unemployment. A 2005/06 Labour Force Survey revealed that there are close to 400 000 out of school youths aged between 12 and 29. This prompted government to work tirelessly to initiate measures through which they can be assisted to earn a living.
Responding to a question asked in parliament by Honorable Nehemiah Modubule, Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Shaw Kgathi said that government has taken a deliberate decision to appoint Principal Youth Officers in different line ministries, departments and local authorities.
“This was meant to ensure that we mainstream youth activities in these ministries and departments and establish opportunities for the youth. Thus young people continue to positively benefit from Government schemes. For instance, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology has established a Youth Construction Empowerment Programme. To date, 11 construction companies owned by the youth have been registered,” he said.
He further said that the Ministry of Agriculture has also short listed nine youth contractors to tender for minor maintenance at its headquarters. The Gaborone City Council has also short listed 15 youth owned companies for the Ipelegeng project.
Other youth support initiatives that government has initiated include the Youth Development Fund, which benefits close to 3000 young people, the CEDA Young Farmers’ Fund, which has so far assisted over 500 young people, the Green Scorpions initiative. The handy men initiative and the village development projects also continue to assist young people to better their lives.