2534 YDF Beneficiaries Have Failed To Service Their Loans Since 2019

  • Only 214 out of 2768 beneficiaries are servicing their loans
  • Minister says beneficiaries face challenges and need mentoring


Out of the 2768 youth projects funded through the Youth Development Fund (YDF) programme between 2019 to-date, only 214 beneficiaries are honouring the contractual agreement and paying loan debts.

This leaves a staggering 2534 defaulting.

This came to light in Parliament this week when the Minister of Youth Gender, Sports and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare, answered a question from the MP for Gaborone North, Mpho Balopi, about whether the YDF programme is fulfilling its mandate.

The minister defended the defaulters, saying while some beneficiaries are willing to pay, the high cost of places of operation, a congested market, and lack of mentorship are some of the impediments that prevent them from honouring their contractual agreements.


He said these factors affect the business operations negatively, resulting in some of them collapsing because they were not turning a profit.

“The youth are facing so many challenges in operating these businesses to success, but they are trying and need to be mentored,” he noted.

“Mentorship of these beneficiaries plays a very critical role in the success of the businesses. I believe that since the programme has been transferred to the Ministry of Entrepreneurship, they will take note of this.”


Even so, the minster conceded that non-commitment of some the YDF beneficiaries may also be a problem and that lack of convenient payment methods may be another.

“Government has to admit that youth cannot pay at revenues just to pay for their debts,” he said. “We have to come up with different platforms where the youth will pay with convenience. I believe that very soon the solution will be launched.”

Rakgare launched a YDF Loan Repayment Campaign dubbed “Akola ke Akole” (“You benefit, I benefit”) in 2020 to encourage YDF beneficiaries to service their loans.

Legal steps  

At the time the minister encouraged the beneficiaries to pay back their loans, saying not doing so may force the ministry to take legal steps against defaulters because it puts those on the waiting list at a disadvantage.

Rakgare said since its inception in 2009, with an annual budget of P120 million, the YDF has been assisted at least 1,140 projects annually. The beneficiaries of funded projects were said to be owing P407 million then.