Moshupa — Botswana’s P7.7 billion food import bill must challenge young minds to identify niche enterprises, says Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Karabo Gare.
He told attendants of a one-day workshop at Mmanaana Junior Secondary School in Moshupa recently that about 70 per cent of the food items consumed locally were imported.
If well positioned, Mr Gare said, the youth would benefit heftily by diverting the import bill to local businesses.
Mr Gare, who is the Moshupa/Manyana MP, appealed to the youth to be innovative by engaging their minds to release brilliant ideas that would ultimately develop into businesses.
He said it was time the youth focused on creating employment opportunities rather than waiting with the hope of getting office employment.
Minister Gare further implored workshop attendants to take advantage of the youth entrepreneurship accelerator programme and develop their business acumen.
Explaining that the aim of the workshop was to inspire young people to divert more appetite towards entrepreneurship, he said those with more drive and hunger to do business would be assisted to develop their ideas.
Mr Gare applauded the programme coordinator, Mr Kagiso Habangana, for voluntarily empowering the youth.
Meanwhile, Mr Habangana has stated that the workshop’s other objective was to engage the youth on the basics of starting a business.
He said most youth businesses collapsed at first hurdle because of among others, lack of motivation, passion and drive to go on when things did not turn out as expected.
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Mr Habangana further encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to develop a sense of awareness of the immediate environment and establish how best to service it.
One was able to start a business, he explained, with available resources and only seek financial support for expansion later.
Mr Habangana said the coming 24 months would be dedicated to youth empowerment.
Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development programmes officer, Ms Serwalo Pence informed the gathering of the youth business chapter which she said was a platform that would enable the youth to share ideas and experiences.
One of the workshop attendants, Mr Pule Pogiso said it was an eye opener for young people whom he said often had business ideas but lacked the knowledge for developing them further.
Source : BOPA