Botswana: P25 Million Invested in NWD Projects

| July 27, 2016

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC), Mr Kago Ramokate says about P25 million under the Youth Development Fund (YDF) programme has been invested in the North West District.

He informed YDF beneficiaries during a meeting that P11 million has been channeled through projects in Maun only and urged them to use the funds on as expected.

The permanent secretary, together with some senior management, met with beneficiaries to appreciate the progression of their projects, challenges encountered and also to share with them decisions taken to assist their projects.

Mr Ramokate informed the beneficiaries that they should ensure accountability and to come up with viable projects which could uplift their livelihoods. He appreciated challenges faced by beneficiaries such as the lack of a market and told them that the government was doing its best to address some of the challenges.

He also informed them about some cabinet decisions taken to assist in sustaining their projects.

Mr Ramokate noted that every ministry has been ordered to reserve 20 per cent of its budget to purchase youth products. On construction, he said 15 per cent has been reserved to contract youth companies for maintenance.

Regarding tenders, he pointed out that the government has requested ministries to reserve 15 per cent for youth in business. In addition, he revealed that last year, the government came up with more initiatives aimed at assisting youth projects.

He said youth beneficiaries were to buy tender documents at half price and that they have to pay half price when registering with the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board PPADB. He said another initiative was that every local authority was to put aside 30 per cent of open spaces which the youth could apply for and compete within themselves.

Beneficiaries also learned that 30 per cent of projects in tourism were reserved for the youth. Mr Ramokate encouraged them to familiarise themselves with the decisions, and to take advantage of the initiatives to take their businesses to greater heights.

He said they should up their game and do business with the government by having all the required documents. He also warned them to stop selling plots when allocated.

The permanent secretary also encouraged the youth to venture into projects which they were passionate about. He said his ministry has ensured that all YDF beneficiaries would go through compulsory training in finance management and marketing before being financed. He said the training was meant to equip them with basic skills so that they could run successful projects.

He also informed them that it was not the ministry's intention to increase funding as some youth had requested, but said their aim was to re-finance businesses that were successful.

"We are doing our best to create a conducive environment for you to start your projects. You must understand that it is not easy to run a business hence someone has to be business minded," he added.

The district youth coordinator, Mr Olefile Thipe informed the gathering that they were planning to form an organisation of all funded youths which would ensure that the youth benefit from the assistance provided by the government.

He said the organisation would also look into challenges faced by the youth and make sure they come up with lasting solutions.

Source: Botswana Daily News.

Category: Human Rights

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