Botswana looks at ways of re­duc­ing high un­em­ploy­ment

Pretoria News - - NATION - |

GABORONE: Botswana is look­ing at a num­ber of ways to deal with its high un­em­ploy­ment rate, the coun­try’s ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, re­search, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy min­is­ter, Douglas Let­sholathebe, said on Satur­day.

He was speak­ing at the open­ing of the an­nual Botswana hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment skills fair and ca­reer guid­ance clinic in Fran­cis­town, Botswana’s sec­ond­largest city.

The fig­ures from the south­ern African coun­try’s sta­tis­ti­cal agency, Statis­tics Botswana, which were re­leased at the end of Jan­uary this year, show the coun­try’s un­em­ploy­ment rate in­creased by 3.1%, to 20.7%, in the past three years.

Let­sholathebe said the un­em­ploy­ment rate re­mained on the high side, and there was a need to find ways of tack­ling such high un­em­ploy­ment.

“This, there­fore, calls for mul­ti­pronged ap­proaches from dif­fer­ent sec­tors, in­clud­ing our own ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor, each us­ing its com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage,” said Let­sholathebe, adding that a fo­cus on vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing by the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor will open po­ten­tial in job cre­ation.

“Ex­ploit­ing these multi-pronged ap­proaches will as­sist Botswana to po­si­tion it­self in the trans­for­ma­tion path from mid­dle-in­come to high-in­come sta­tus, an­chored in trans­form­ing from a re­source-based econ­omy to a knowl­edge-based one as es­poused in the coun­try’s Vi­sion 2036,” he said.

Botswana’s ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor ex­pects to get a sub­stan­tial chunk of the na­tional bud­get for the 2020/21 fi­nan­cial year to achieve sus­tain­able qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and in­crease the skills pool in ar­eas that have been iden­ti­fied as crit­i­cal to di­ver­sify the econ­omy.

Botswana’s fi­nan­cial year runs from the be­gin­ning of April, and ends in March.

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