Thursday, July 18, 2024

Vision 2016 ideals seem unachievable

We are three years away from realizing the goals we have set out for ourselves to achieve in 2016 when this country attains 50 years since independence from the British colonial rule.

Would the Botswana of the coming few years be a prosperous, caring and compassionate one where citizens are not only proud of their identity but  are economically empowered to meaningfully participate in the running of the economy whose control is vested in foreign hands? Are we going to see a Botswana where citizens are major players and drivers of the economy in the construction industry, the diamond industry, telecommunications, tourism and so forth?

Will Batswana have access to clean water and access to health services? ┬áWe appear to have set ourselves very high targets which we may never be able to realize in the absence of social cohesion, high educational levels amongst Batswana, lack of localization of skills and our failure to diversify our economy. Most of the ideals of Vision 2016 may be just pie in the sky. The secretariat holds erratic reviews of the progress made by the Vision Council. At the moment there appears to be no ownership of our Vision by the majority of the citizenry. The vision does not seem to tick anyone. We still harbour deep seated tribal prejudices where a minister finds nothing wrong in reminding others about their origins. We still have other minority groups in our midst denied basic education in their mother’s tongue at their crucial developmental stages.

We still have the ever growing disparity between the haves and the have nots. We still have computer illiterate teachers in our schools yet we have the ambition to turn our country into a regional internet technology hub. We still have a government which agonizes about calls for the declaration of assets and liabilities in the interests of transparency. The traditional system of it takes a village to raise a child has collapsed ever since we became independent.  With our independence, we have employed methods which are foreign to our Africanness and botho to address our own social ills in the name of civilization. We are essentially in a dog eat dog world where materialism has given rise to the erosion of empathy towards those who are less privileged. We shun our culture and embrace others.

As a nation, we must seriously take stock of what we set out to achieve in our Vision and soberly admit that we are a thousand miles away from realizing our vision. The government as the main driver of this vision will have to shoulder the blame for the failure of Botswana to realize her vision. The government of the day has frustrated the Vision by turning it into its election manifesto and leaving civil society to be spectators in the whole affair.

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