The Youth’s Election 2024: Why Young People Must Register this Time 

The Botswana Gazette has come up with almost 60 items that can be used as a party manifesto checklist in the hope that it will influence the 2024 election outcome for a greener national agenda with a strong bias for a youth demographic dividend


The youth are a very disillusioned group in Botswana. Worn down by never ending platitudes that are partly the reason for Botswana being a dystopian nation, there is a pervading feeling of hopelessness among the youth.

Tell them of the so-called demographic dividend, and they will laugh cynically. Because of this feeling, that generation refuses to vote as they understand that it is pointless. It is little wonder unemployment for the younger generation has hovered around 40 percent for years. And with education being only a means of disguised unemployment, it can be said that including disguised unemployment, only 4/10 young people have jobs.

The government does not know how to fix the problem and is too embarrassed to publish net jobs added information, as some countries do. Funds pour into fixed assets like roads, showing only diminishing returns and no corresponding generation of employment.

An earlier item in The Botswana Gazette titled “The Development Enigma” covered this issue in March 2023 and is worth reading.  Youths must vote because their lives and well-being depend on it. The youth must vote also because this government is pursuing a strongly anti-environmental development policy that hinges not on clean energy but on oil, gas and coal.

An overheated and unhabitable world is foreseen, driven by high levels of carbonisation that will not support the upcoming generation because food production systems will fail. The UN forecasts an 8.5C warming by 2100 if nothing is done. It is a matter of survival and the status quo is no longer tenable. Only our younger generation have the power of change in their grasp.

The youth must vote for parties with the greenest agenda. Okavango oil and coal-to-gas are not in the interest of the youth who must demand green jobs in a healthy environment. So cutting all the context to the quick, we are here to discuss a matter of great importance – the role of youth in shaping our nation’s future through the power of their vote.

In 2019, a staggering 70% of people between the ages of 18 and 35 did not cast their votes in the general elections. This is a significant figure and underscores the need for a strong call to action. As we are now in the registration season in November, let us delve into why your vote is crucial and how we can steer Botswana towards a greener and more sustainable future.

But what will the 500,000 younger voters vote for? They most certainly have no party loyalty because most have not voted before. What they will be looking for is a contemporary and green manifesto that promises a better future.

The Botswana Gazette has come up with almost 60 items that can be used as a party manifesto checklist in the hope that it will influence the 2024 election outcome.

  1. Youth Employment and Green Jobs: Prioritise initiatives to provide green employment opportunities, focusing on renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and eco-tourism.
  2. Education and Awareness: Implement educational programmes to raise awareness about environmental issues and sustainable practices, targeting schools and local communities.
  3. Climate Resilience and Disaster Preparedness: Develop and implement strategies to enhance climate resilience, including early warning systems and community-based disaster preparedness.
  4. Promoting Renewable Energy: Encourage investment in solar and wind energy projects to transition to cleaner energy sources, creating jobs and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
  5. Sustainable Water Management: Invest in sustainable water management practices and infrastructure to mitigate water scarcity risks exacerbated by climate change.
  6. Biodiversity Conservation: Enhance conservation efforts, protecting and restoring ecosystems to maintain biodiversity and promote sustainable ecotourism.
  7. Sustainable Transportation: Advocate for greener transportation alternatives, promoting electric vehicles, cycling lanes, and public transport to reduce carbon emissions.


  1. Green Technology Innovation: Support research and development of green technologies and innovations, fostering a culture of sustainable solutions.
  2. Local Agricultural Sustainability: Encourage organic farming practices, support farmers in adopting sustainable methods, and promote local markets for organic produce.
  3. Waste Management and Recycling: Implement efficient waste management systems, promote recycling, and support initiatives to reduce plastic use.
  4. Community-Led Conservation Initiatives: Encourage community participation in conservation efforts, empowering local communities to be stewards of their natural environment.
  5. Green Infrastructure Development: Advocate for sustainable building practices, including energy-efficient construction and utilisation of green building materials.
  6. Youth Entrepreneurship in Green Industries: Foster an entrepreneurial culture among the youth, encouraging startups in sustainable sectors by providing funding and mentorship.
  7. Promoting Environmental Policies: Lobby for adoption and implementation of policies that encourage sustainability and environmental responsibility at both local and national levels.
  8. E-Governance and Digital Transformation: Advocate for enhanced e-Governance to increase efficiency, transparency, and accessibility of government services.
  9. Capacity Building and Training: Provide training programmes for government officials and stakeholders to enhance understanding and implementation of green policies.
  10. Promoting Renewable Energy: Encourage investment in solar and wind energy projects, transitioning to cleaner energy sources and creating job opportunities.
  11. Sustainable Water Management: Invest in sustainable water management practices and infrastructure to mitigate water scarcity risks exacerbated by climate change.
  12. Green Agenda: Decoupling. Promoting the 4IR, decarbonisation, online for services, research and development.
  13. Research and Data Collection: Support research initiatives to gather data on environmental challenges and solutions for informed policy-making.
  14. Green Diplomacy: Engage in regional and international collaborations to address global environmental challenges and share best practices.
  15. Community Engagement and Consultation: Prioritise involving communities in decision-making processes to ensure sustainable policies are rooted in local needs and aspirations.
  16. Youth Involvement in Policy Making: Create platforms for youth to engage in policy formulation and decision-making processes to ensure their voices are heard and concerns are addressed.
  17. Green Agenda: Prioritising sustainability and environmental protection is crucial to safeguard Botswana’s natural resources, preserve biodiversity, and address climate change, aligning with global efforts to combat environmental degradation.
  18. Resource and Economic Decoupling: Detaching economic growth from resource consumption is vital for sustainable development, promoting efficiency and reducing ecological footprints to ensure a better future for Botswana’s environment and society.
  19. A Green Party’s economic and fiscal agenda typically centres around sustainability, equity, and long-term well-being. Here’s what to look for in party manifestos and listen for in political speeches.


  1. Green Economic Stimulus Package: Introduce targeted financial incentives and grants to promote green industries, clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and eco-tourism, encouraging the transition towards a green economy.
  2. Carbon Pricing and Taxation: Implement a carbon tax to incentivise carbon reduction and allocate the revenue towards renewable energy projects, reforestation, and climate adaptation initiatives.
  3. Promoting economic and resource decoupling – doing more with less.
  4. Circular Economy Promotion: Encourage a circular economy approach, emphasising recycling, reusing, and reducing waste to enhance resource efficiency and minimise environmental impact.
  5. Investment in Renewable Energy: Prioritise investments in solar, wind, hydro, and other renewable energy sources to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, lower energy costs, and create green job opportunities.
  6. Sustainable Agriculture Support: Offer subsidies and technical assistance to farmers transitioning to sustainable and organic farming practices, promoting soil health, biodiversity, and reducing chemical use.
  7. Green Infrastructure Development: Allocate funds for sustainable transportation, urban planning, and waste management systems to create eco-friendly and resilient communities.
  8. Financial Support for Green Technology Startups: Provide grants, tax breaks, and access to low-interest loans for startups and SMEs involved in developing innovative green technologies and sustainable solutions.
  9. Inclusive Economic Growth: Implement policies to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are distributed equitably, reducing income inequality and improving the overall standard of living for all citizens.
  10. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs): Strengthen and enforce regulations requiring thorough EIAs for all major development projects, considering the ecological impact and ensuring sustainable development practices.
  11. Eco-Tourism Promotion: Invest in eco-tourism infrastructure, promoting responsible tourism to showcase Botswana’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.
  12. Green Jobs Training Programmes: Develop educational programmes and vocational training focused on green technologies and sustainable practices to upskill the workforce for emerging green job opportunities.
  13. By incorporating these economic and fiscal initiatives, the Green Party of Botswana can work towards a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future that balances economic growth with environmental responsibility.
  14. Progressive Taxation Reform: Advocate for a progressive tax system that places higher tax rates on higher incomes, ensuring a fair distribution of the tax burden and generating revenue to fund social and environmental programs.
  15. Environmental Tax Incentives: Introduce tax breaks and incentives for businesses adopting environmentally friendly practices, such as reduced taxes for companies meeting certain sustainability benchmarks.
  16. Financial Transaction Tax (FTT): Propose a small tax on financial transactions to discourage excessive speculation and generate revenue for sustainable development projects and social initiatives.


  1. Investment in Sustainable Infrastructure: Encourage investment in sustainable infrastructure projects, including renewable energy, efficient public transportation, and green buildings, attracting both public and private investment for a more sustainable future.
  2. Strategic Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Attract FDI in green sectors by providing incentives, tax breaks, and a favourable regulatory environment to encourage international companies to invest in clean technologies and sustainable development projects.
  3. Promotion of Sustainable Trade: Advocate for trade policies that prioritise sustainable and ethically produced goods, incentivising eco-friendly practices throughout the supply chain and promoting fair trade agreements.
  4. Diversification of Economy: Promote economic diversification by investing in emerging industries such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, eco-tourism, and information technology, reducing dependence on traditional sectors and fostering innovation.
  5. Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Provide financial support, access to credit, and capacity-building programs to SMEs involved in sustainable ventures, encouraging entrepreneurship and fostering economic resilience.
  6. Investment in Research and Innovation: Allocate funding for research and development, supporting innovative solutions in green technologies, climate adaptation, and sustainable practices to drive economic growth and competitiveness.
  7. Green Export Promotion: Facilitate the export of eco-friendly products and services, providing incentives to businesses engaged in sustainable export-oriented activities, promoting a positive trade balance and environmental stewardship.
  8. By incorporating these taxation, investment, trade, and diversification strategies, the Green Party of Botswana can pursue a comprehensive economic and fiscal agenda that aligns with sustainability goals, economic growth, and responsible governance
  9. Promoting the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR): Embracing technological advancements aligns Botswana with global progress, fostering innovation, enhancing productivity, and positioning the nation as a competitive player in the modern global economy.
  10. Mitigating carbon emissions is essential to combat climate change and reduce the country’s ecological impact, aligning Botswana with international efforts to transition towards a low-carbon economy.
  11. Leveraging digital platforms enhances accessibility, efficiency, and transparency, allowing for easier engagement with government services and promoting a technologically progressive and inclusive society.
  12. Ensuring that Botswana’s mineral wealth is exploited to maximise local value added this will help to attract investment and create new jobs.
  13. Encouraging research and innovation ensures Botswana remains at the forefront of progress, fostering solutions to address societal challenges and drive sustainable development.
  14. Regional Integration: Collaborating with neighboring nations and regional entities enhances economic cooperation, infrastructure development, and collective efforts towards environmental conservation, promoting a unified approach to shared challenges.
  15. Compact Livable Towns and Cities: Planning for sustainable, well-designed urban areas fosters efficient resource use, encourages community engagement, and supports a high quality of life for citizens, aligning with global urban sustainability goals.
  16. Better Nutrition and Wellness Promotion: Prioritising citizens’ health and well-being through access to nutritious food and wellness programmes enhances the overall quality of life in Botswana and contributes to long-term societal development.
  17. Proportional Representation for an Inclusive Society: Implementing a fair electoral system ensures that every citizen’s vote counts, fostering a more inclusive political landscape that reflects the diversity and perspectives of Botswana’s population.


Your voice matters because voting is the cornerstone of democracy. It is your chance to voice your opinion on issues that directly affect you and your community. By voting for the right candidates and parties, you can influence policies that align with your vision of a greener, more sustainable Botswana.

The choices you make at the ballot box determine the trajectory of Botswana’s future; a future that could be more sustainable, innovative, and inclusive. When you vote, you have the power to hold elected officials accountable for their promises and actions. Your vote helps ensure they deliver on their commitments.

The Green Agenda set out by The Botswana Gazette is there for all parties to note. Parties will increasingly realise that the 2024 General Election is the Youth Election, and the younger generation will vote for those parties that have the greenest agenda.