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A jobless generation

Portia Mlilo
IN THE HOT SEAT: Rakgare

32.4% of the country’s youth unemployed

Brutally confirming what most graduates already know, the multi-topic household survey, carried out at the end of 2020, indicates that 164, 945 youth are unemployed in Botswana.

With the country’s youth population, those aged between 18 and 35, estimated at 509, 195, it means 32, 4 percent of that demographic do not have a job.

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The startling stat was revealed by Minister of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development (MYSC), Tumiso Rakgare in parliament on Tuesday, when responding to a question from Jwaneng MP, Mabutsane Mephato Reatile.

The MP had asked for clarification on the number of unemployed and under-employed youth (workers who are highly skilled but working in low-paying or low-skill jobs and part-time workers who would prefer to be full-time) in Botswana.

Reatile also demanded to know what interventions government have come up with to create employment for the youth, the results of these initiatives and its key performance indicators.

“The multi-topic household survey indicates that 26, 552 youth are underemployed, translating to 0.05 percent,” replied Rakgare, whose ministry was responsible for carrying out the survey.

“The government has come up with various sector specific interventions to address unemployment, like Affirmative Action in favour of Youth, including: 15 percent maintenance reservation for youth construction companies (worth P2, 327, 201.28), 15 percent price preference for tenders and 20 percent reservation for micro procurement.

SEEKING ANSWERS: Reatile

“There is also use of open spaces for setting up temporary stalls, payment of installments for tendered commercial plots, five-year grace period without paying lease fees for fields/farms, 30 percent reservation for cattle chasing patrols and cut-lines/ fire breaks tenders amongst others,” continued the youthful Minister.

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Rakgare further pointed out through the course of the 2021/22 financial year, which ends in April, government splashed out over P64 million (P64, 389, 491.54) on youth enterprises.

The Youth leader added a budget of P89, 399, 997 has been allocated to fund a maximum of 894 youth businesses, translating to over 1, 000 jobs.

He revealed 14, 294 youth are participating in volunteer programmes with 300 jobs created as of last September.

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