9 October 2018

Botswana: Youth Fund Owed Over P400 Million

In what chairman of Public Account Committee (PAC) Abram Kesupile has described as a waste and encouraging a casual attitude among young entrepreneurs, the Youth Development Fund (YDF) under Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture has failed to collect over P400 million from businesses owned by the youth.

Appearing before Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Permanent Secretary at MYSC Kago Ramokate said they have set a target of collecting P6 million annually but only managed to collect P2.8 million as payment for the grants given to the youth through YDF.

He said YDF has since repossessed some of assets owned by the young entrepreneurs and auctioned them as a way of recuperating the money owed.

MP for Gaborone Bonnnigton South Ndaba Gaolathe asked Ramokate about the success rate of the businesses funded by YDF which he said is at 86%. "How can it be 86% when you're owed close to a half billion pula?" asked Gaolathe, informing Ramokate that they are not empowering the youth to run businesses that are sustainable.

Ramokate revealed that they do not have guidelines for YDF and that they are currently working on them and will be ready by January 2019. "This is not a business fund but rather make it a social fund which will rather push the youth to a certain level. Re look at YDF as a kindergarten for the young people who want to pursue businesses," advised Gaolathe.

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