An essay by Malebogo Pamelah Bogale
According to World Bank Conference (2000), In the case of Botswana most of the 19.6% unemployed are relatively young people with low educational qualifications and no skill. With the employment mix becoming more skill intensive in both the private and government sectors, it means that each year more skilled workers are required relative to unskilled workers, as a result the problem of unemployment increases. Over the past few years there has been a rapid increase in youth unemployment. According to Morima (2012), Botswana youth unemployment rose from 11.8% to 12.7% between 2008 and 2009. He further stated that, Botswana’s youth unemployment is second highest in middle income countries. Youth unemployment in Botswana is higher than national unemployment which is currently at 17% (Morima 2012). The root cause of this level of unemployment is a failure to create enough jobs in the economy. Youth unemployment exceeds national unemployment.
Since the research of Birch (1997) entrepreneurship has been seen as a major source of job creation and innovation. Gibb (1996) has proposed three main reasons for contemporary interest in entrepreneurship: job creation and economic development; strategic adjustment and privatization of public utilities and state owned enterprises. According to Druker (1997, p.17) innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as opportunity. Where Moss Kanter, (1984 p. 354) indicated that it should be a national priority to release and support the skills of men and women who can envision and push innovations. Fayolle (2007) indicates that within individuals, communities, organizations and societies there are needs to develop a greater sense of enterprise and self-help.
Entrepreneurship is the solution of unemployment in Africa, Botswana in particular. It allows job creation and as well as financial independence. Entrepreneurship is an intervention that will yield the best result for employment creation. It could be a means by which youth can earn their living, because it gives youth a platform to create a decent work for themselves and possibly for others. There is a need for development of entrepreneurship more especially among the youth, since establishing enterprises can enable youth to escape poverty.
However, in order to ensure sustainable job creation in the country there is a need for Entrepreneurship training among the youth. Entrepreneurship development training is critical for the success of small business. In this regard training has to be provided to youth at a tender age. Monitoring and mentoring services must be made available for the youth entrepreneurial development. The support will equip young people with adequate skill for running business, thereby enabling the success of youth enterprises that will create more employment opportunities in the country.
The Botswana education system is not entrepreneurship friendly that is it does not provide young people with the knowledge and skills that foster entrepreneurial culture in the country. Botswana has achieved universal primary education and yet still, schools do not provide the youth with the skills to establish their own enterprises. Skills to manage and operate business are quite essential for the youth in the country. Botswana need to have policies that ensures that relevance of education particularly in the foundation stages of education is maintained. The Ministry of Trade and Industry together with Ministry of Education and Skills and Development must work together and develop youth entrepreneurship and develop those that show aptitude and desire to build their own business. Schools should offer the young people the knowledge and skill that foster entrepreneurship culture in Botswana. The Government should encourage the programs and institutions that have interest in developing entrepreneurs in education institutions. Education Organizations should be established that will expose young people to the important opportunities and concerns of being a business person.
Botswana youth need to be equipped so that they will be able to build their own enterprises for the global competition. The country need to have enough high profile companies built by locals to which tomorrow’s young people can look to and be motivated and inspired to venture in to business, enterprises that can operate in the global world Inadequate skills in entrepreneurship will lead to poor enterprises, hence poor growth prospect for in the economy. The underlying reason for low participation rates of youth in entrepreneurship is lack of quality or adequate skills. The state can get involved as enabler, provider and activator to ensure incorporation of entrepreneurship training in the education system, more especially in basic education.
Birch, D. (1997), The Job Generation Process. Cambridge.
Drucker, P. F. (1997). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Oxford: Butterworth – Heinemann.
Fayolle, A. (2007). Handbook of Research in Entrepreneurship Education: A General Perspective. (Volume 1).
Krueger, N. F. (2002). Entrepreneurship: critical perspectives on business and Management. (293) 1. Routledge.
Morima, N. A. (2012). Youth Unemployment. Francistown: 12TH National Business Conference.
Moss Kanter, R. (1984). The Change Masters: Corporate Entrepreneurs at Work. London: Unwin.
Ms. Malebogo Pamelah Bogale
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