Fresh information from the government enclave highlights how the job situation for fresh graduates is worsening. The data also shows that Botswana’s graduate unemployment is at crisis level with the government asking ministries and departments to consider placing thousands of fresh graduates on the national internship and Tirelo Sechaba programmes.
In a savingram seen by this publication dated 26 October 2021, the Ministry of Youth, Empowerment, Sport and Culture Permanent Secretary Kago Ramokate suggests that his ministry is stuck with thousands of fresh graduates who have failed to secure employment on their own without government support. The ministry’s plea highlights the growing high levels of youth unemployment that the country is grappling with. The savingram was addressed to various Government ministries and departments requests them to consider graduates for opportunities in national internship and Tirelo Sechaba Programmes.
The Ministry explained that it implements the Botswana National Service Programme commonly known as Tirelo Sechaba and National Internship Programme to give young people opportunities to gain work readiness skills and allow them to serve their communities. Participants also receive an allowance for their welfare, Ramokate explained.
“As a result of the debilitating effects of COVID-19, placement of young people in these programme was minimized due to workplace requirements for compliance with health and safety measures. Movement restrictions, social distancing and the need to decongest offices meant that only a few participants could be accommodated in the public service,” the ministry said.
It also noted further that participants who completed their term of office were in most cases not replaced. “During this time, enrolment of young people drastically dropped and many aspiring young people were left idle with no immediate opportunities in sight,” the Ministry said. The savingram says that as the State of Emergency has come to an end and the disease situation is improving, ministries and departments are requested to consider uptake of interns and Tirelo Sechaba Participants. The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development said it could only enroll participants where ministries have indicated availability of opportunities.
The Ministry currently has a total of 3,365 slots for Tirelo Sechaba and 3,571 slot for Internship placements. “We currently have a waiting list of 5,111graduates for internship broken down as follows, Medical Services 516, Sciences 392, Agricultural Science 266, Social Science 138, Transport Services, 173, Engineering 690, Architecture and Building Programs 289, Humanities, 222, Information and Communications Technology 103, education 279, Security 36, Business Administration 1608, Tourism and Hospitality 399,” said the ministry.
Ministries were therefore requested to assess their needs for Interns and Tirelo Sechaba participants and make requests for placement. A source at the government enclave said that these are fresh graduates and does not include graduates who have been “job hunting” before the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the source, graduate unemployment was exacerbated by the pandemic. These, he said, number mask the number of underemployed youth in the country and there are fears that whether one has a degree or not his or her dream job might remain unreachable a little longer.
It is also understood that ministries have sent out pleas to various department requesting them to place the graduates under the national internship and Tirelo Sechaba programmes. A report that was published by the African Development Bank (AFDB) found that Botswana was among 13 countries in SADC that experienced double digit youth unemployment which stood at 37.5 percent between 2011 and 2019 and got worse following the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Countries that experienced an increase in youth unemployment include Namibia, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana and Angola,” the AFDB observed. According to the report, “Overall, the high level of unemployment, especially among the youth, is due to inadequate skills, skills mismatch, limited economic diversification, and low absorption capacity of industries, growth models driven by capital intensive sectors (eg diamonds in Botswana), a lack of functional institutions, slow economic growth, and a lack of pro-employment macro-economic policies.”
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.