Botswana: Centre to Foster Youth

Gaborone — The Stanbic Bank Business Incubator Accelerate Centre launched in Gaborone Tuesday is critical to the development of business acumen in youth.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Ms Peggy Serame said it was important that stakeholders continued to be involved in the development of youth skills.

The intension, she said, was to improve young people's employability status and to help them implement their ideas for wealth creation and the country's economic development.

Ms Serame hailed the pivotal role Stanbic Bank was playing in the inclusion and facilitation of youth in business.

Acknowledging that business reforms in the country had been slow, she said Parliament had recently begun to review them in an effort to improve the ease of doing business in Botswana.

Among them was the long awaited review of Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) guidelines to improve creativity and innovation among young people.

Stanbic Bank Botswana chief executive officer, Mr Samuel Minta said the financial institution was committed to providing an environment that facilitated youth growth and success.

He said the incubation platform was part of the bank's social economic and environmental value driver strategy linked to the wellbeing and prosperity of the societies in which the bank was operating.

Mr Minta said the bank would commit P6 million towards youth improved employability strategy over the next three years.

Quoting statistics, he said 10 per cent of 20 000 new graduates annually could not find a job in the formal sector while 30 per cent who dared to start enterprises faced a failure rate of 30 per cent.

According to Mr Minta, the platform was a chance for the bank to help build legacies and invest in youth employability and entrepreneurship.

Brastorne managing director, Mr Martin Setimela, said youth for youth to succeed in business, they should acclimatize themselves with failure . Mr Setimela said banking and finance institutions locally were too risk adverse and seldom funded business innovations which he said limited the growth of youth entrepreneurship in the country.

He expressed gratitude to Stanbic Bank for coming up with the strategy to facilitate youth in business, adding that business acumen was essential to growing and sustaining the innovative ecosystem of the country.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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