Ministry Out to Improve Lives of Youth

| June 15, 2015

Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) will conduct a youth business stakeholders’ seminar recently.

MYSC minister, Mr Thapelo Olopeng, said the seminar would come up with ways in which cabinet’s approval of exemptions and reservations for youth businesses could be implemented.

He was addressing youth entrepreneurs in Francistown recently.

He said some exemptions were that the youth who acquired Class B driver’s licenses at 18 years be allowed to apply for other classes at 21 years and not 25 as it has been the case.

He said there would be no turnover requirement for youth applications of import and export licenses and Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) youth companies would buy tender documents at 50 per cent of the fees, and youth businesses would have a grace period of five years without paying lease fees for commercial plots and farms.

He revealed that 30 per cent of cattle chasing patrols, cut lines and fire break tenders would be reserved for the youth. He noted that while his ministry suggested the exemptions and reservations to cabinet to ensure youth businesses thrive, there was need for a mindset change amongst the youth to make it easy for stakeholders to implement the approval.

Mr Olopeng said he was optimistic that once the implementation exercise begins, youth businesses could make millions of pula.

Youthful Ms Koziba Malibala, who operates an integrated consultancy business, applauded the ministry for the exemptions. She said many supplies officers across government departments were not aware that consultancy business does not require a trading license, but an accreditation from Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA).

Ms Malibala explained that due to the lack of knowledge, consultancy businesses were denied tender opportunities.

She called upon the ministry to negotiate with BQA to speed up the accreditation process.

Mr Fumane Tekere, who runs a multimedia company and has employed three young people, complained that the ministry only funds businesses but hardly monitor progress.

Mr Tlhabologo Chingapane who manufactures conveyor belts decried lack of support by the mines and pleaded with the minister to convince them to support local companies.

He requested that the Youth Development Fund (YDF) be increased to beyond P100 000, adding that his company requires expensive equipment.

In response, Mr Olopeng said although the policy stated that the fund was P100 000, cases were assessed on merits and that some even get more than that. He, however, said where MYSC could not fund, it makes a recommendation to the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) for funding.

He said his ministry currently does not have the capacity to carry out monitoring for all youth projects, but he assured the youth that their problems would be addressed.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

Comments are closed.