Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry (MITI) Moiseraele Goya has lauded petroleum giant Total Botswana on their affirmative initiative of boosting young entrepreneurship as this is line with the government’s transformation agenda.
Total Botswana last year October started the inaugural Total Startupper challenge which called on the young innovative business minded individuals to submit their projects, with the company financing the best idea. It is said the programme received 159 entrants which was a sign that the young Batswana are keen to venture into business.
“Total has given young Batswana a chance to realize their dreams; this will go a long way in contributing to job creation and micro-economic development. High rate of unemployment give us the leaders of Botswana sleepless nights, it is an eye-sore and it is a thorn,” said Goya on Thursday evening.
The company was awarding the best idea a capital boost which is expected to ensure the ideas are now turned into reality. Key elements that the jury made up of renowned business people like Lulu Rasebotsa, Dr Tiro Mampane, Monametsi Kalayamotho and Chilidzi Ramoduetsi were looking into were social impact, feasibility of the project and innovation. “Those were the key factors we were looking for. If the project can socially impact the lives of Batswana and to larger extent globally, secondly is it doable and obviously innovation,” jury representative Rasebotsa explained the judgment criteria.
The competition according to Total Botswana Managing Director Diego Mtshali was running concurrently on 55 countries, emphasizing that it was innovative centric. Only those below the 35 years of age with their ideas two years or below were eligible to enter. It is expected that it will continue again this year. “We are giving out P400, 000 as part of our Community Social Responsibility arm which decided that there is youth inclusion, education and gender equality,” Mtshali said.
The five months of rigorous selection of the best ideas saw the four panel jury selecting the best 15 before the last three was awarded this week. Ogaufi Setlhogile of Solar Water Desalination Plant scooped two awards of the top female entrepreneurship and the overall winner and pocketing P200, 000. She will then go to Paris (France) to expose her idea to the world.
“This idea will pump the salty water in rural areas then purify it and sell again as you know that we have water problems in the country,” Setlhogile explained her project. Mthabisi Bokete got the second prize of P120, 000 with Mooketsi Sembungu of Sin-Sands taking position three and pocketing P80, 000. All the podium finishers will then be offered mentorship by the jury on their businesses.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.