Francistown councilors have called on the government through the Ministry of Youths, Sport and Culture to use a broad based approach in implementing youths’ policies and ensure that young people get empowered.
Responding to a presentation on the mandate and programmes of the ministry by its Deputy Permanent Secretary Jefferson Siamisang during a Francistown full council session last Friday, councilors lamented that government’s policies on youths are not benefiting the young people.
Siamisang said the government is determined and committed to face the challenges of the youth head-on and with speed and the urgency they deserve.
In order to address some of the challenges that face the youth, Siamisang said his ministry is working tirelessly on determining “how we can fast-track access to empowerment programmes by the youth.”
However, Francistown councilors argued that the countless policies formulated with the aim to empower the youths of Botswana are not clear and have dismally failed to address challenges being faced by the younger generation of this country.
“Botswana’s business policies are contradicting themselves. And the most affected members of the society are the youths,” argued Tabengwa Tabengwa, the councilor for Ikageleng ward in Francistown.
Tabengwa gave an example of the most controversial Halal policy. He said the Haalal policy is not beneficial to the young people who ventured into the poultry industry because most retail outlets do not accept the non-Halal meat products.
“It is only intended to benefit the elite section of the country,” charged Tabengwa.
The outspoken councilor said all the poultry projects have collapsed in and around the country because of this controversial Halal policy.
Professor Lazarus Tlou of Itekeng ward said so many policies have been passed with the intention to solve a single problem.
“But they are contradicting each other. What is it that we want to achieve as a country in terms of empowering the youths?” rhetorically asked Tlou.
Boikhutso ward councilor, Robert Mosweu said as long as the Chinese business community continues to control the market, there is no way the youths of Botswana will get economically empowered.
Mosweu said the Chinese are controlling almost every sector of the country’s economic sector and the youths are not being protected. He blamed the government for passing contradicting policies.