Speaking at the national convention presidential induction dinner held in Palapye, the Minister of Trade and Industry Ms Dorcas Makgato-Malesu said it was encouraging to see young people with so much commitment and passion in bringing change to their communities.
"If we had a greater force of young people showing the same commitment and vigour that is displayed by JCI Botswana members, then we will be certain of a better future".
She said her ministry valued the relationship it had with JCI, adding that government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture also continued to support this organisation. She said an era where governments were encouraging public private partnerships and forging relationships with civil society organisations like JCI could not be over emphasised, pointing out that government could not afford to be driving the economy alone while the civil society and communities are inactive.
Ms Makgato-Malesu further said as part of JCI principles, service to humanity is the best work of life.She said the country has many business opportunities that young people can tap into and make a difference in their lives and that of their communities.
Business, she said is a key contributor to the growth of the economy and the youth have to play an active role in this sector, adding "I am happy to note that business is one of the four areas that JCI promotes."
She also encouraged members to identify needs of the community and determine how to satisfy that need through a business venture, adding that government has programmes in place that are aimed at encouraging and supporting youth development.
These programmes, she said include among others; Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Youth Development Fund, Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).
Furthermore, she said members of the JCI have to be different from other youth in this country as such they must be seen as problem solvers and irreplaceable resources like diamonds of this country.
"You should not just be members by way of being registered but, you should actively participate in the projects and programs of the organisation to realise the benefits of being members." She said JCI is celebrating 25 years of making a difference through initiating programmes have over the years empowered the youth.
These programmes include among others Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Programmes (TOYP), Business forum and several others. "It is worth mentioning that you have won the TOYP award three times and this year one outstanding young Motswana, Tshiamo Rantao made it to the top 20."
In addition, she said the organization prides itself with developing leaders such as Judge Mookodi, Joseph Pheto, Donald Koogotsitse, Gaone Masire, Anthony Siwawa and Duncan April.
She commended the outgoing board for the splendid job it has done in the past year. "It is my sincere hope that the incoming board will continue providing quality leadership and direction to this organization." Ends