Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Unemployment: Anglo American CEO calls for “fresh” thinking

Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani has called for a new inclusive approach in solving unemployment crisis in Botswana.

Speaking at the UB Foundation Gala Dinner on Friday, Cutifani suggested solutions that are directed at nourishing entrepreneurism and the development of small and medium sized enterprise at University level to help improve unemployment.

Cutifani said due to the fact that the world is fast-moving world solutions to the unemployment challenge have to be ahead of the times.  

He further called on all businesses, when making investment decisions, to invest in human resources and skills development to support their business to thrive.

Cutifani said although unemployment is everywhere in the world, the best way is for the leadership to think ahead and come up with broader and sustainable jobs cater for the future.

Cutifani’s remark comes after some group of youth in Botswana are busy protesting and telling the world about the situation of unemployment in Botswana.

The most recent estimate of the national rate of unemployment pegs it at 20 percent. However given the weakness in gathering accurate data in the country the figure could be far higher than this. 

In its latest annual report, Bank of Botswana suggest that looking ahead, providing enough jobs will become more challenging in the context of modest rates of economic growth compared to the past. At the same time the central bank says while 16 percent of Botswana’s labour force has tertiary education qualification, only about 19 percent of those employed are considered to be skilled workers. 

To date, official figures pegs the highest unemployment rates for Junior and Secondary school graduates at 27.5 percent and 27.9 percent respectively, brigade certificate and diploma (23.5% and 19.8% respectively), vocational certificate and diploma (17% and 13% respectively) as well as university certificate and diploma (15.2% and 15.5% respectively). 

The central bank notes in its 2015 report that key factors explaining the unemployment problem in Botswana are relatively undiversified economy, a large public sector as well as the labour force that is inadequately trained and has low motivation. 

With long term unemployment proving to become a fundamental problem for Botswana’s ailing economy, economic commentators continue to warn policy makers to wake up to this ticking time bomb and treat the issue with seriousness.

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