Industry Sectors will, for the first time, form part of the annual Tertiary Education Fair and Conference. The Human Resource Development Sector Committees which fall under the Human Resource and Development Council (formerly Tertiary Education Council), will provide guidance to school leavers at the Fair and Conference on career choices.
The Human Resource and Development Council (HRDC), which has been tasked with correcting the mismatch between human resource skills available in Botswana and those skills that industry requires by implementing the national Human Resource Development Strategy, is set to host the 2015 Tertiary Education Fair and Conference during the week of 23 to 28 March, 2015.
This year’s Conference will be held under the theme: Promoting Human Resources Development and Employability through TVET while the theme of the Fair is Gateway to realising your potential and shaping your future.
The objectives of the Fair and Conference are, among others: to market the tertiary education sector by giving the public and private institutions, the platform to showcase their offerings; to give school leavers the opportunity to learn about career paths before choosing institutions and programmes and also to give employers an opportunity to dialogue on issues of curriculum relevance, quality, sponsorships and collaborations.
The composition of the Human resource development sector committees ensures that the sector is comprehensively represented with employers, Government, labour unions, advisory, steering, support, and regulatory agencies, education and skills training and development specialists and institutions, professional associations and civil society as well as individuals possessing qualifications, experience from different constituencies such as business.
The sector committees which have been established include Health; Tourism; Mining, Water and Energy; Creative industries; Finance and Business and Information and Communications Technologies.
The acting Chief executive of HRDC, Dr Patrick Molutsi, told WeekendPost that the sector committees are already making their impact felt in the human resource development process.
Dr Molutsi said that “The Mining sector committee has introduced a new artisan programme at Francistown Technical College and the Tourism sector committee has already implemented a new artisan programme at Gaborone Technical College and they have also produced a training plan.”
“With the help of consultants, we have done a sector situational analysis to know what is happening in the markets, using research about political, economic, environmental, social and technical aspects, to determine how things will be over time,” said Dr Molutsi.
In due course, other sector committees will be established such as: Education and Training; Public Sector; Transport; Manufacturing and Research, innovation Science and Technology.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.
As murder cases and violent incidents involving couples and or lovers continue to be recorded daily, Specially Elected Member of Parliament, Dr Unity Dow has called for more funding of non-governmental organizations and accelerated action from government to come up with laws that could inhibit would-be perpetrators of crimes related to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Just after Dr Dow had deposited her views on this subject with this reporter, a young man in Molepolole opened fire on a married woman he was having an affair with; and ended her life instantly. While it is this heinous cases that get projected to the public space, the former minister argues that the secrecy culture is keeping other real GBV cases under wraps in many spaces in the country.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said there is GBV all the time in all kinds of places. “We have become accustomed to stories of rapes, marital rapes, defilement of children, beatings and psychological violence and even killings,” she said.
Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, Dow is worried that there is absolutely no social punishment for perpetrators; they will continue to have the same friends, jobs, wives, homes, as before. Yet another factor, she said, is that there is little or no “justice” for victims of GBV.
The renowned activist said justice for GBV victims is not just the jailing of the perpetrator. “Justice for victims means an agile, victim-friendly, accessible (time, money and procedures) and restorative justice system.”
Asked what could be leading to a spike in Gender Based Violence cases or incidents, she observed that there is no one factor to which this spike can be attributed. “The most obvious factor is stress as a result of economic distress and or poverty. Poverty makes one vulnerable and open to compromises that they would otherwise not make. For perpetrators with anger management issues, economic stress leads to lashing out to those closest to them. Another factor is the disintegration of families and family values,” she opined.
According to Dow, no government anywhere in the world is doing enough, period. “We know the places and spaces where women and girls are unsafe. We know the challenges they face in their attempts to exit those spaces and places.” The former Judge of the High Court said GBV undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in the culture of silence.
Asked what could be done to arrest GBV cases, Dow said it is critical to involve and fund civil society organizations. She observed that much of the progress done in the area of women’s human rights was during the time when Botswana had strong and funded civil society organizations.
“The funding dried up when Botswana was declared a middle-income country but unfortunately external funding was not replaced by local funding,” she acknowledged.
Further Dow said relevant government institutions must be funded and strengthened.
“Thirdly, create a society in which it is not okay to humiliate, rape, beat or kill women. You create this by responding to GBV the same way we have responded to livestock theft. We need to create agile mechanisms that hear cases quickly and allow for the removal of suspected perpetrators from their homes, work places, boards, committees, etc.”
The former Minister said the much anticipated Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Gender Based Violence will have its work cut out for it. According to Dow, GBV is not just a justice issue, it’s not just a gender issue, but rather an issue that cuts across health, education, labour, economic, housing and politics. “As long as any one believes it is someone else’s problem, we will all have the problem,” she said.
In her view, Dow said every work, educational and other place must have a GBV Policy and/or Code of Conduct. “It is important that we acknowledge that the majority of men are law-abiding. The problem is their silence, in the face of injustice,” she observed.
The State has chosen to ignore intents by kingpins in the P100 billion scandal to sue for a combined P85 million as tables turn against the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the matter.
Key players in the matter; the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Bank of Botswana (BoB) have eroded the prospects of success following the duo’s institutions’ appearance before parliamentary committees recently.