Ten (10) Point Agenda for Jobs delivery according to Saleshando

In his response to President Masisi’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Leader of Opposition (LOO), Dumelang Saleshando observed that the address lacked bread and butter issues like job creation.

According to Saleshando, unemployment, which is prevalent among the youth is the most concerning factor, hence why it is disturbing that President Masisi did not address it.

To deal with the unemployment “frustration that runs through the minds” of Batswana, the Leader of Opposition has came up with a Ten (10) Point Agenda which he believes can deliver the much needed jobs;

β€’Adopt a 12 months plan for all Ministries to Bring Back the Exported Jobs

President to direct his Ministers to present a twelve (12) months plan of redirecting procurements from external sources to domestic ones, many jobs that are externalised by foreign purchases would open up for Batswana.

β€’Commit the mining companies to process locally.

We need to respect the right of our people to work and open up mineral beneficiation companies in Botswana. As the diamond markets recover, this should be reflected in the numbers of Batswana going to work.

β€’Expand the budgets of parastatals that have potential to increase employment and merge those that have duplicate mandates.

Increase budget for Air Botswana to be able to make business out of Botswana’s tourism. Maun Airport being one of the busiest airports due to the wildlife in the northwest region of the country, if Air Botswana was to be financed, it would be as good as Ethiopian Airlines.

β€’Adopt Aggressive Plan for Green Energy

With 60% of the national electricity demand met from domestic generation, there is a big opportunity for Botswana to embrace solar in a more ambitious way. Botswana is located geographically in a region that has the highest irradiance. We have approximately 10 hours of sunshine in winter and 12 hours in summer. We can be the model country in Africa on generating electricity from the abundant God given sunshine.
The exploitation of solar should also be accompanied by a campaign to manufacture the equipment required for solar stations. Many jobs will be created through such companies that will also position themselves to service the region in the medium to long term. We need to aim to be amongst the best in the world on solar power exploitation to get the jobs we need.

β€’Leveraging our diamond legacy for Synthetic Diamonds

Botswana needs to be bullish and prevail on its long term partner DeBeers to partner for synthetic diamonds in Botswana to create jobs, failing which DeBeers should not be our preferred partner for natural diamonds.

β€’Exploiting the opportunities presented by Hemp

The Botswana leadership needs to now go beyond politics of mischief on the issue of hemp. The list of products manufactured from hemp include ropes, plastics, oils and vanishes, concrete, paper, jewellery, energy drinks, textiles and cutlery.

β€’New Jobs in the Education sector

The proposal by the UDC for government to offer unemployed teachers and those willing to opt for early retirement to set up pre-primary schools on the back of government sponsorship for the enrolled students presents numerous benefits. Through this intervention, jobs will be created in the most labour intensive layer of our education system as more than one teacher is assigned to not more than 20 students. Additionally, our students will be better prepared for primary education and this should have a positive impact of the quality of our graduates from primary to secondary.

β€’Infrastructure Modernization

Government needs to invest in developing our roads. Roads are a long term investment and pay back through increased trade, efficient movement of goods and services and lower costs of doing business. Roads are also able to pay for their maintenance through toll gates.

β€’Expanding Batswana Owned Businesses

Botswana needs to change its approach to funding local entrepreneurs. The idea that Youth Development Fund should be allocated to all constituencies equally on an annual basis defies logic. Let disbursements be informed by prospects of business success and the abilities of the promoters. Beneficiaries who have managed to grow their businesses and employed other young people should be identified and offered additional funding to create more jobs.

Likewise, CEDA should identify entrepreneurs who have done exceedingly well and offer them additional funding to expand their businesses for sectors that offer more jobs. The quest to open up more job opportunities in a profitable manner should know no bounds.

β€’Prioritizing Existing Businesses ahead of Elusive

Government should convene a high level consultative council with big business and offer incentives for businesses that are willing to increase their labour force in the next 12 months. Reduced taxes for the expanding employers will be compensated by increased disposable income in the hands of Batswana.

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