Olopeng Motivates Youth

| June 9, 2015

Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Mr Thapelo Olopeng, has urged young people to develop a positive mind set and take aantage of available opportunities that will lead them to decent lives.

In an interview, Mr Olopeng said as part of government’s effort to assist young Batswana with creative and innovative business ideas and plans to achieve their full potential, cabinet approved certain exemptions for youth businesses.

Amongst the exemptions, youth businesses would buy tender documents at a 50 per cent discount as well as do Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) registration at 50 per cent. Mr Olopeng also announced that 30 per cent of cattle chasing and cut lines as well as fire breaks tenders will be reserved for youth.

He said youth who acquired class B driver’s license at 18 years will be allowed to apply for other classes at 21 years not 25 as had been the case.

“Upon communicating these initiatives to youth on our regular consultations with them around the country their main concern was the PPADB procedures. They said registering with the board took up to three months while express registration which requires an upfront fee of P5000 took less than 14 days. My argument was if takes 14 days for express registration why not do everything within 14 days,” he said.

Olopeng said youth businesses would have a grace period of 5 years without paying lease fees for commercial plots and farms. “The number one challenge for young people doing business is availability of land.

We agreed at cabinet level that youth should be given a chance to use open spaces for their market in urban and semi urban areas. We have also established land banks in partnership with the Ministry of Lands” said Mr Olopeng.

The youth will be allowed to identify open spaces they could utilize to set up stalls free of charge. Thirty percent of open spaces in town and cities will be reserved for permanent use by youth businesses.

“The intent is to create a better platform for young people to ride on. Youth will even be allowed to start off with a license for trading that would be recognize by PPADB much as they would recognize a trading license,” he said. Minister Olopeng encouraged all stakeholders to be on the same wavelength as they strive to empower young people.

Recently Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mr Dikgang Makgalemele told Parliament that the introduction of youth empowerment programmes was a top priority for government and as such several strategies were implemented.

To date more than 120 projects under the Youth Development Fund (YDF) have been funded with an amount exceeding P100million. The fund has so far financed 597 projects to the tune of P239million in the creation of 2 386 jobs.

The Ministry of Transport and Communication also has two programmes that are geared towards empowering young people, namely the ICT Incubation Programme and the Roads Maintenance projects for companies owned by young people.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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