Arts, Craft Projects Viable

| May 4, 2015

Residents of Shakawe and Xakao have been urged to take aantage of poverty eradication initiatives and venture into arts and craft projects.

Addressing several kgotla meetings in Okavango Sub-district, the Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Philip Makgalemele said a recent survey conducted on arts and craft products had indicated that 80 per cent of the products came from Ngamiland District.

He also noted that the survey revealed that products sold annually ranged between P300 000 and P500 000 but indicated that there were no products produced under poverty eradication programme.

Mr Makgalemele said the profits made showed that market existed, adding that government was in negotiations with its embassy offices outside to explore international markets. He said arts and craft was a viable business in the district and has the potential to create employment for others.

“This is the opportunity to look at arts and crafts projects and see how best you could utilise the poverty eradication programme in place and penetrate the international market,” he added. The assistant minister said he once visited Japan and the Japanese are willing to buy Batswana crafts products as they have busy airport.

Mr Makgalemele also noted that in an effort to support arts and craft products, the government had allocated P500 000 to each ministry to buy local products and part of the money would be used to engage and empower traditional troupes.

Briefing residents about poverty eradication initiative, he said in Shakawe it had been reported that out of the 45 packages, the community had benefited from only seven while in Xakao only four packages were progressing well.

He encouraged the communities to tap into the remaining packages in order to uplift their lives and uproot poverty within their families. Mr Makgalemele also appreciated residents who have applied for the programme and the delay to get their materials noting that by end of June this year the backlog would be cleared.

He said they would try different means to clear the backlog citing that they could request the applicants to shift to other packages considering issues of lack of market, encourage them to group themselves or form cooperatives to benefit in large numbers.

Earlier on, Shakawe Village Development Committee chairperson, Mr Thuto Setswalo told the assistant minister that the implementation of poverty eradication programme was a challenge in the district.

He said 600 applicants have shown interest and registered but still awaiting assessment while 200 had been trained and not yet received the materials to start their projects noting that some people had been trained in 2012.

Mr Setswalo said shortage of resources such as vehicles hinders social workers from conducting assessment and urged the government to resolve the issue of transport to ensure the programme produces expected results.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: News

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