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Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development (MIH)
MIST commemorates Month of Youth Against HIV/AIDS
21/03/14
MIST commemorates Month of Youth Against HIV/AIDS

This year Month of Youth Against HIV/AIDS was commemorated in Ghanzi Township and officially opened by the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Hon. Johnie Swartz. The official launch was in done in collaboration with Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology and Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) on the 06th of March 2014. The Ministry has since commemorated MYAA since 2009 in various Districts across the Country. Last year MYAA was held in Kasane Township in the Chobe region. The Minister reasoned that his ministry is among those Ministries that have a highly mobile population as it is home to a large number of engineers, other professionals most of whom are young and labours who are already scarce in the country.

Minister Swartz also stated that the National goal is to have an AIDS Free Generation by 2016. According to the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey IV of November 2013, the HIV prevalence rate among the youth is at 33.9% for the 30 – 34 age group and 43.7% in the 35 to 39 age group. Swartz said these figures are very alarming and the Government of Botswana has committed itself to Zero new infections by 2016, which is only two years away. This year theme is: ‘ZERO NEW INFECTIONS, ZERO DISCRIMINATION. ZERO AIDS RELATED DEARTHS. He said the theme is in line with our wish and aspirations of the nation and expect not to experience any new infections anymore. As such, the 2014 MYAA campaign will focus on the prevention of new infection among youth aged 15 to 35 years as it is paramount that new infections be stopped, said Swartz.

In addition, the Minister also mentioned that the Ministry cares for the lives and development of the youth, as they came up with a programme for youth owned construction companies and individual youth with vocational skills whereby a reserve of 15% of the Maintenance budget is considered for them every financial year. For the current year 2013/14 47 youth companies and individuals have been awarded tenders amounting to P31,273,685.00. Other Ministries continued to empower youth companies as well.

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