Capetown — Botswana's current unemployment levels are a major problem for a country with a small population, says President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.
"The majority are young people, fairly well educated given what we do in Botswana with a lot of expectations into the future and yet a burden of frustration of not being able to find jobs could easily offset and cause such people to venture into things that are not desirable. Yes it is a ticking bomb," he said.
He was speaking on September 4 during a panel discussion at the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa on the topic "Delivering Promise of Africa's Youth".
President Masisi said it was therefore necessary to make interventions to migrate as many people as possible to the next level of development.
In that regard, he said there were interventions to tap into the new chapter of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in human development through use of ICT.
The country, the President said, desired to accelerate human development for every individual and to subsidise those who could not afford it in order to enhance skills and efficiency to achieve competitiveness.
On other issues, he emphasised the need for holistic review of curriculum in Africa's schools in order for skills to remain relevant in the years to come.
He said the continent should design the curriculum in such a way that it continuously changed and allowed for the absorption of newer skills sets and knowledge bases.
"I think it is important that we understand from the word go that we need to invest differently and put our money where it matters most; our youth," he said.
Meanwhile, President Masisi has also said there was need for politicians to engage in conversations of purpose to correct policies.
"We are talking Africa; we are part of the global community and we should fix prices to stop migration, otherwise under development will not stop, human rights abuses will not stop whether you call it xenophobia or black-to-black crime, will not stop," he said.
Other panelists raised a concern that Africans had to pay far more of their income to access technology, something they said severely hampered the rise of digital literacy and entrepreneurship among the young generation that should be leading in the field of ICT.
The summit, which started on September 4 to end tomorrow (Sept 6), is held under the theme, 'Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution'.
Source : BOPA