Botswana: SONA Today

Gaborone — The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, will deliver State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) today.

He is expected to outline policies and programmes that will facilitate the country's socio-economic development also targeting priority areas of job creation, service delivery improvement as well as strengthen governance structures.

The address, which would mark opening of the 12th Parliament, comes with expectations since the nation would be ushersing in a new dawn of legislatures following the October general elections.

In his previous address, President Masisi focused on the National Transformational Strategy that would help create employment and promote investment, among other things.

Ms Keitumetse Ngakane, a stall owner at Gaborone bus rank, said she expected President Masisi to map out ways through which economic growth could be reignited to create employment.

She expressed hope that the President would also look into what his party manifesto outlined.

Ms Ngakane said the President should say more about his road map and the strategies he would set out to tackle to country's challenges.

"There has been a lot of political talk going into the election. It is time for the President and his government to deliver on their political promises. As a small scale entrepreneur, I expect the President to strengthen citizen-owned enterprise competitiveness," she said.

The 24-year-old unemployed graduate, Mr Batshani Mbedzi from Sebina, was optimistic that the address would provide a glimpse of hope for the unemployed youth.

He said it was important for President Masisi to put the unemployed youth at the forefront of his agenda.

"Unemployment adversely affect the youth who constitute the majority of the country's population. President Masisi should aim at developing an overarching employment policy for Botswana with implementable solutions to address unemployment," he said.

Visual artist, Mr Kabelo Moagi, from Maun indicated that it was pleasing to note that President Masisi recognised the potential that the creative industry had in job creation and economic diversification, making reference to the recent visit by renowned Hollywood actor, Mr Steve Harvey.

Mr Moagi's expectation included prioritising the arts as one of the key economic drivers through acquisition of local content.

Being a native of area prone to human wildlife conflict, Mr Moagi also expected the President to layout his strategy in addressing human-wildlife conflict particularly relating to elephants.

Retired teacher, Ms Keagalemang Tsabone, was of the view that President Masisi should strive to resolve the country's over-reliance on natural resource wealth and move towards knowledge capital to yield a knowledge-based economy.

Like most retired pensioners, Ms Tsabone has n developed keen interest on agriculture and she remained hopeful that the address would give an insight into agricultural programmes that would transform the country to a food basket and reduce the food import bill.

Source : BOPA

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