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Ministry continues to empower youth

23 Mar 2023

Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture continues to create an enabling environment with a view to empower youth and women, promote gender equality, develop sport and leverage the strength of culture and heritage, says Minister Tumiso Rakgare.

Presenting the ministry’s 2023/2024 financial year budget proposals in Parliament on March 22, Mr Rakgare said the ministry, in collaboration with development partners and civil society, would also continue to contribute to positive youth character development.

“The collaborations seek to enable the youth to contribute to the socio-economic progression of the country. 

Therefore, the ministry remains committed to its mandate of improving the lives of young people in Botswana,” he said.

He also indicated that the 2010 Botswana National Youth Policy was under review to align it to emerging local and international trends.

Again, he said the ministry extensively engaged with young people across the country to ensure inclusivity and relevance, hence the need for various stakeholders to play their part in youth empowerment.

On gender issues, Mr Rakgare appealed to MPs and Batswana to appreciate the contribution of women and girls, saying ‘from time immemorial, women and girls have persevered in protecting families, raising children and providing care for their loved ones. 

The least they deserve from us in return is to love them back, not to turn them into punching bags and shooting targets. 

As a nation, we should make every effort to protect them from all forms of abuse.”

He added that Gender Based Violence (GBV), in any form, should not be allowed in the society. 

“On the contrary, we should intensify our pursuit of gender equality, where we work hard to narrow the gap between males and females,” he said.

In relation to sport development, the minister said the National Sport and Recreation Policy of 2001 was under review.

The review, he said, was intended to update the policy in line with modern trends among them professionalisation and commercialisation of sport, athletes’ welfare, safeguarding of vulnerable groups and sport science as well as role clarity of various sport bodies.

On other issues, Mr Rakgare told MPs that one of the projects that were funded for over P2.9 million under the current financial year was engaging the services of a Transactional Advisor for the development of the State Theatre. 

He said one bidder had passed both the compliance and technical stages.

Further, MPs heard that the review of the Cinematography Act of 1970, which started in 2020, was ongoing while the bill was expected to be brought before Parliament during the next sitting in July.

“The Bill will among other things set up a National Film Commission, which will open up opportunities for local film producers and create employment opportunities,” he said.

In order to attain acquisition, preservation and access to the Nation’s Documentary Heritage, Mr Rakgare said the development and implementation of the Records Centre and Archives Administration sub-systems was ongoing and anticipated to be completed in the next financial year.

Meanwhile, the minister indicated that during the 2022/2023 financial year, which was coming to an end, collection of revenue was at 88 per cent with its bulk-generated from Youth Development Fund (YDF) repayments, which was valued at over P3.2 million.

As for the budget proposals for the next financial year, the minister had requested over P887 million under the recurrent budget and over P44.4 million for the development budget. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Moshe Galeragwe

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament March 2023

Date : 23 Mar 2023