Stanbic Bank Botswana Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Samuel Minta, has challenged local tertiary institutions to lead the way in optimising the country’s education system in order to create employment for over 80 000 unemployed graduates in Botswana.
He was speaking recently at the Botho University Inaugural Research Conference held in Gaborone this week. Minta noted that the responsibility is not only on the public sector, but on a harmony between both the private and public sector working together to drive positive change in this space.
“We need our tertiary institutions to spearhead the charge for educational reforms. This is wholly possible,” said Minta further adding that local tertiary institutions are more than able to play a meaningful role in transforming Botswana into a global knowledge-based economy.
“The data on youth unemployment is becoming increasingly worrisome. In Africa, almost half a billion young people will turn 15 years by 2030 and those between 15 – 24 years will constitute 26 percent of the population. The need for new jobs will be unprecedented.” he said.
According to research, it is estimated that the unemployment rate among the youth in Botswana currently seats over 25 percent. The figures are projected to grow if these issues are not seriously addressed. Statistics further suggest that on an annual basis, tertiary institutions in the country graduate over 20,000 students. Out of this, only about 2,000 are absorbed by the formal sector. It is estimated that there are currently over 80,000 unemployed graduates in Botswana.
“We are seeing a growing trend of graduates who are unable to leave home to start an independent life. This trend calls for urgency in dealing with issues of youth unemployment, and I believe we are all committed. The question then remains, how are we going to leverage our holistic ecosystems to change this narrative?”
Minta further underscored that it is essential to look into what knowledge, skills, attitudes and values today’s students need to thrive and shape their world, and productively so but also not ignoring role of those not directly within the education system.
Moreover, he also affirmed that the bank was committed to a long-term and sustainable partnership with youth groups, youth leaders, educational institutions such as Botho University, Government agencies such as the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and other like-minded private sector organisations.