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Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST)
MIST Strives to Empower the Youth
22/10/10
MIST Strives to Empower the Youth

MIST Strives To Empower Youth

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology continues to outdo itself in a bid to fight unemployment among the youth. After undertaking to devolve minor maintenance works of Government infrastructure through the Department of Buildings and Engineering Services to youth owned companies, the Ministry started a programme on 5th September 2010 for out-of-school-youth to study a five weeks course on Fabric Printing and Dying.

This is an initiative by MIST Youth Unit aimed towards out-of-school youth and is in line with the Ministry’s intentions of facilitating technology transfer among Batswana. Currently the programme has enrolled only ten participants from Gaborone and the surrounding areas and will be rolled out to other parts of the country in the future. The participants were identified through a process where MIST Youth Officers visited District Youth Offices sensitizing the youth on MIST services and on opportunities that the Ministry offers specifically for Youths.

The participants were registered through their District Officers and will be only required to pay for the tuition of the course amounting to a mere P750 while MIST covers the boarding fees of the tutor and catering for the participants. Speaking to MIST Public Relations Officers, Mrs. Neo Thutlwe who is the Ministry’s Principal Youth Officer said the participants were requested to pay so as “to instill a sense of accountability, responsibility and maturity in their minds”. Mrs. Thutlwe was of the view that when people are offered things in a silver platter they tend to lack ownership in what they are doing.

This course of study takes place at the Botswana National Youth Council premises and is designed to equip the participants with the necessary skills and competences in the fabric printing industry and it is offered through the Rural Industries Promotions Company Botswana, a Parastatals under the Ministry.  The course will cover fabric printing, tie and dye, screen printing, potato printing, battick, block printing and with these skills the participants are expected to help in the fight against unemployment among the youths. The Ministry managed to secure the training facilities for free as a result of cooperation agreement between the Ministry and the Botswana National Youth Council.

Thuto Nthibo, one of the 10 first beneficiaries of this initiative is an excited young man as he stands to take control of his future as a result of the skills acquired from the course. After not doing well in his BGCSE examinations, Nthibo has been living off odd jobs and irregular family handouts.  “With the skills I am to acquire here, I hope to start my own business to better my life and uplift my family. I also hope to employ other non privileged youth so as to share my knowledge with them”, Nthibo said.

Nthibo also encouraged other out-of-school youths “to come out of hiding and take advantage of Government initiatives that are geared towards youth empowerment”. He also expects to upgrade the skills that he would have achieved to another level as the one they are receiving is only intermediary.

The Ministry is in a process of developing an implementation plan for the programme as they aim to extend it to all parts of the country and also to offer other levels besides   the intermediary level. The Ministry is also intending to invite financial assistance institutions such as CEDA, LEA and commercial banks to give the participants advice on acquiring funds for starting up businesses. This would be done during the graduation ceremony after completion of the course.
 

 

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