The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng has challenged the youth to utilise programmes that are offered by both Government and the private sector to uplift themselves.
He said this during the Barclays Bank Botswana Prosper Film launch in Gaborone, where he noted that programmes such as the Youth Development Fund are meant for young people to access start-up capital to go into business.
“While we are not suggesting that everyone is a business person, we believe such programmes, with the availability of mentorship, can help young people to become economically active and successful business people. There is a gap in the YDF dispensation such as the mentorship programme.
“I therefore encourage the private sector to partner with my Ministry to provide or support a mentorship programme for young people before and after funding so they run successful businesses,” said Olopeng.
Through its other supportive initiatives, Barclays Botswana has over the years achieved 85 percent colleague participation rate in Botswana. And because the colleagues volunteered their time and skills, it has reached well over 12, 000 children and youth across Botswana since 2015.
According to the bank’s Managing Director, Reinette van de Merwe, the majority of youths were engaged in skills development sessions including financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills development programmes lectured by Barclays Bank colleagues.
“We have a variety of other skills development opportunities which we have introduced in Botswana over the years including our Rising Eagles graduate programme.
“This programme allows graduates in Botswana to challenge the conventional and share their innovative ideas with some of the best minds in the financial services sector,” she said.
The Bank also prides itself with Madi Majwana production, which was its first entry into the creative arts sector. The story of Madi Majwana is one of the creative innovations between Barclays Bank of Botswana and Maitisong Theatre.
Through this partnership, the bank is able to teach communities across Botswana practical lessons on financial literacy using examples from daily lifestyles of Batswana. This theatrical series broadcasts across all Botswana radio stations, targeting youths between the ages of 10-35 years.
Madi Majwana is a proudly indigenous production engaging local artists to tell the wonderful, simple and empowering financial Stories from Your Pocket. Youth are part-and-parcel of the entire production process including script writing and implementation.
Olopeng said that government alone cannot achieve holistic empowerment of the young people without the private sector and other players.
“My ministry will not tire in its efforts to call out to the private sector to partner with Government to change the lives of young people. I believe this partnership should make an impact in the lives of these young people because they are the future,” he noted.