Tutume — Government interventions aimed at addressing poverty are yielding positive results as evidenced by declining national poverty levels, says Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration assistant minister Mr Machana Shamukuni.
Officiating at the Francistown, North East, Sowa, Tutume and Tonota joint poverty eradication expo mass packaging in Tutume on October 4, Mr Shamukuni said among the interventions was Youth Development Fund, Women Economic Empowerment Programme and Poverty Eradication Programme.
He said the net effect of the interventions was a gradual decline in national poverty levels from 30.6 per cent for people living below the poverty datum line in 2002/2003 to 16.3 per cent in 2015/2016.
Over the same period, the proportion of people living in abject poverty declined from 23.4 per cent to 5.8 per cent, he said.
Mr Shamukuni explained that government added the Poverty Eradication Programme to the already existing interventions such ISPAAD and LIMID in 2011 with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty through sustainable income generating projects.
The majority of such projects, he said, had successfully created employment for the beneficiaries and others.
He said in the five districts, over 6 200 people were assessed for the programme and 5 400 funded.
To date, over the 4 300 funded were operational and had created employment for a good number of the people, he said, attributing lack of commitment by beneficiaries as one of the reasons 800 projects had failed.
Mr Shamukuni said when awarded a project, one should strive for success instead of thinking it was government's responsibility to ensure the project succeeded.
The assistant minister implored beneficiaries to take advantage of mass expositions to benchmark and share ideas with those in businesses similar to theirs.
He said being open minded would enable them to deal with challenges experienced in their businesses.
Furthermore, Mr Shamukuni urged government institutions to support beneficiaries of state programmes by procuring goods and services from them as well as reaching out to them and offering assistance where needed.
During the expo, 70 beneficiaries received project packages.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>