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Batswana youths, women top unemployment figures

A study released this week shows that Batswana youths and women top the unemployment statistics in Botswana. The general unemployment rate currently stands at 17%. The findings indicate that in terms of gender, being male as opposed to female increases the probability for employment relative to unemployment.

The study, which is titled “determinants of Youth Unemployment and Labour Market Transitions of the Youth in Botswana” was conducted by the University of Botswana (UB) renowned academics Professor Happy Siphambe in collaboration with Dr. Malebogo Bakwena, Dr. Lexi Setlhare and few other scholars at the highest institution of learning.

The research paper further states that the youth population also tends to experience higher unemployment rates than the older population. Youth in the study were categorised, as most programmes in Botswana define youth, between the ages of 15 to 39 years. “Since young people generally have no workplace experience, which makes it difficult for them to obtain jobs,” the academics pointed out in which Gabane was used as a case study.

Thus, according to the study, younger youth are also likely than older youth to become unemployed and to be discouraged. It states that high youth unemployment rate is also a result of the high school dropout in the country. Study states that in the years 2012-2014, a total of 8,051 students even dropped out from secondary school, in which a whopping 5,031 were females. “The probability of Job losses were lower for individuals with secondary education than those with primary education,” highlights the research paper.

In Botswana, Statistics Botswana of 2016 also indicate that youth unemployment is currently estimated at 25.2% with female unemployment higher than that of males at 26.9% percent as compared to 23.6% percent for males. The new research paper fills the gap which was left by many studies that were carried out on youth unemployment and on unemployment in general in Botswana which did not examine the gross transitions and the transitions determined by individual socio-economic characteristics.

Study emphasised that “the transition probabilities from employment to unemployment for women was higher than for males at 10.2 percent and 10.8 percent respectively between the two time periods.” The transition from unemployment to employment was 17.2 and 17.9 percent respectively between the two time periods. It says the probabilities of moving out of labor force to employment increased from 2.8 percent to 3.1 percent during the study period.

“Compared to males, the labor patterns for females also show higher rates of losing employment and less opportunities of finding employment during the entire study period,” the study stressed. Moreover study explains that “the transition probabilities of EU are higher for the 15-24 age group than for 25-34 group for both periods. This may be indicative of that the older group has more education & training and/or experience to move.”

It is not clear whether it is mere chance or employers prefer older more experienced workers over younger inexperience workers, it says while adding that one could guess that these are mature people who could be having family responsibilities and could not afford to choose jobs. Economic theory explains how the aggregates of employment and unemployment are determined by the business cycle of the economy, the researchers say.

They point out that the aggregate unemployment rate may also be influenced by worker flows between different labour market states of employment, unemployment and out-of-labour market. Thus, study highlights that it is important to analyse transitions of workers among labour market states for many reasons. “One reason is that while aggregate unemployment may be due to lack of job expansions in the economy, some of the unemployment arise due to job mobility,” UB academics say.

The new study will contribute to existing literature because the researchers claim that there is no literature on labour market transitions in Botswana. Majority of the studies that employed duration models attempted to estimate the duration of unemployment, conditional on individual personal characteristics and labor market conditions experienced by individuals. While the labour market transitions of the labour force are important in explaining unemployment, the study states that the socio-economic characteristics of individuals also play an important role.

“These individual characteristics influence the flows of people into different labour market positions, which can be measured by probabilities of losing jobs and probabilities of finding new jobs,” study further says. Botswana has its share of youth unemployment which remains a global concern and most countries continue to experience increased youth unemployment and this is particularly so for African economies, most of which are currently struggling to address the problem.

According to International Labour Organisation (ILO), given the sustained upward trend in global unemployment, which has hit the youths so hard, it is likely that many of them will continue to be almost three times unemployed than the adult population, hence the need to conduct youth unemployment studies.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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