ONE FOR THE ROAD
It is not necessary to critisise efforts that are aimed at empowering young people and stimulate youth enterprises. Why do we have a society of pessimists? People who constantly see the glass half empty. While it is important to be critical at times, negativity will not take us anywhere.
What Botswana needs is constructive criticism that will go a long way in bringing the much-needed change. It might be worthwhile to give opportunities like the hosting of Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit a chance. It is common knowledge that entrepreneurship should be inculcated in our society to a point where it becomes a culture. What better way to do that than to bring like-minded institutions like Forbes in our shores to share experiences.
This, of course among many other efforts will eventually do the trick. All efforts to have local young people interact with international business people on issues of entrepreneurship and job creation is commendable. This is the route that most nations have adopted in recognizing that nurturing youth entrepreneurship can be highly beneficial for economies.
The need to nurture and further develop entrepreneurship has become even more serious in current times where nations are transforming to adopt new technologies. The hope lies in youth becoming job creators rather than job seekers. Imagine that Botswana’s youth constitutes a significant number of the country’s population, but sadly this is the group that is plagued by unemployment and poverty. If on the flip side, this was the population that constituted strong willed business people, innovators, wealth creators, and job creators, the odds would be different.
Although it will take more than just congregating for Forbes Summits for results to be realised, it is progress in the right direction. For a long time, young people have believed that they were left out and not engaged on issues that affect them the most. In such platforms as Forbes Under 30 Summit, they now have an opportunity to learn from the best of the best, and also engage, interact and ask the most important questions in an open and non-threatening atmosphere.
It would be a waste to have world-renowned business people like South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe addressing the youth and nothing really comes out of it. We can only hope that such meetings will bear fruit. But beyond hope, government agencies responsible for luring investors to Botswana to need to continually demonstrate their willingness to facilitate a conducive environment for those wishing to venture into business.
Without doubt, Forbes 30 Under 30, has aroused excitement and optimism among the youth. What they wish for is a Botswana where a simple young Motswana with nothing to his name can walk into a government office and receive the assistance they need to pursue their dream.