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World’s best entrepreneurs don’t have College education

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INSIGHTFUL: Vusi Thembekwayo

South African entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo has challenged local educators, policy makers and employers to employ new thinking in order to address new problems the country is faced with.

Thembekwayo, a renowned international speaker worries that while Botswana is currently abuzz with the idea of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, and yearning to become part of it, the developed world is far ahead and already talking about the fast coming Fifth Industrial Revolution.“Africans love buzzwords, they always talk and take forever to do what it takes to achieve what they dream of. The truth is, we don’t have our own agenda. “We are always trying to play catch up,” he said at the recent National Human Resource Development Conference that was themed, ‘Competitive Human Resource – a Leading driver for the Economy in the 21st Century.’ His view is that while Botswana has her eye on the opportunities that are availed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the country also needs to be thinking about whether or not the economy enables it to be.

“Europeans and Americans beat us at this not because they are smarter than us, but because their economies are far more advanced and far more developed,” he says. It is high time that Botswana and other African countries set all that they know aside and admit that they do not know. Secondly, be willing to learn, try and fail. “Our countries are notorious for pushing away people who try and fail. But we need to understand that entrepreneurship is all about trying and failing.” He wondered why people performed well while they are employed in the corporate world only to fail when they start their own businesses. “You are the same person, with the same skills, same training and education, same knowledge and ideas that you were using while in the corporate world to succeed.

“Why is it that when you are on your own you fail? This is because of the way our economies are set up. Once you leave the corporate world, your risk profile goes up,” he says. He strongly believes that as long as there is no room for fresh ideas and innovation people will not innovate. The two-time world public speaking champion says contrary to popular arguments that entrepreneurship should be incorporated in curriculum at lower and higher education in order to change the odds, entrepreneurship cannot be taught. “You can’t teach entrepreneurship, but yes, you can teach enterprise,” he says, adding that the knowledge of business is not business.

For example, he says no person can be taught how to act and behave when their financier comes to repossess their property because of a default of payment. He believes that for Botswana to fully embrace entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is need for fundamental shifts, where for example, tech entrepreneurs are not expected to make profits on the first day or first month or even first year of business. “This is simply not possible,” he emphasised, adding, “Until we fix these things, we cannot build an economy for the future.” Thembekwayo, a venture capitalist regarded as one of the richest Under 35 South Africans believes this is why some of the world’s best entrepreneurs do not have a college education.

“How many Mark Zuckerburgs do you have in Botswana? They are plenty, it’s only that you do not know about them and they have not been given the opportunity to thrive.” Thembekwayo says Botswana needs to take a bold step to shift and change the status quo. “How do you industrialise, how do you automate, how do you talk about robotics and artificial intelligence if you can’t meet some of the most basic things like ensure provision of electricity for all,” he quizzed. “If we talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, these are the questions we need to start framing.”
He urged Botswana to educate young people for the future and ensure that they can think independently and come up with solutions, rather than educating them to test whether or not they can pass an exam.

Meanwhile, Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Minister Nonofo Molefhi said on behalf of Vice President Slumber Tsogwane that government is committed to overhaul and mordernise the curriculum so as to respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as it will facilitate higher levels of research, development and innovation.

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I broke the law in good faith – Moswaane

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YES I ERRED: Ignatius Moswaane is weary of some within his party, BDP.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane, has his electorates behind him. The maverick MP has recently found himself on the wrong side of the law after circulating a graphic video clip on social media depicting a woman in South Africa being brutally knifed to death.

At a consultative meeting with his constituents at the Leseding Hall on Saturday, he explained that his action was done in good faith. “I am a member of the SADC committee that deals with issues of abuse and harassment relating to women and children. I shared the video on facebook with our parliamentary group. This was to bring about awareness amongst ourselves on gender violence and brutality against women,” he said to the bemused audience. Moswaane, who admitted that he broke the law, swears that, the video was leaked deliberately by his enemies in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to put him into trouble with the law and jeopardise his political career.

The outspoken legislator claimed that when he shared a similar video of an unnamed country in the past, he achieved the desired results because the SADC committee he is a member of, took up the matter and an investigation was made. According to recent media reports, the MP has been viewed with suspicion of disloyalty to President Mokweetsi Masisi given the ongoing feud the state president has with his predecessor Ian Khama. Those looking at him with suspicion have suggested that he was loyal to Khama who is leading a crusade to topple Masisi from power at the general elections this year.

According to Moswaane, some with vested interests in the BDP want him out of the race for Francistown West constituency so that their preferred candidate may contest in his place. “I do not think it is the party. Maybe it is just some individuals in a faction within the party.” After the video was leaked, BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi issued a statement expressing dismay at the circulating video.

The MP however, does not see the video clip incident in isolation. He is convinced that considering his motive of sensitising people of the brutal act, he should have been warned instead of being arrested and his cell phone taken away from him. “It is clear that DIS is looking for something else in my cell phone which has got nothing to do with the video,” said Moswaane who accused the spy agency, DIS and his political opponents in the BDP of working against him. During question and comments time, a woman who introduced herself only as Senjoba, called for financial support for Moswaane should he need the services of a lawyer.

Another speaker, Moalosi said that what was happening to the MP was an indication that no one is safe. “The opposition has always said that DIS is used for witch-hunting. It shows we are also not protected,” he said. Olebile Motsamai called on the people to protect their MP. “As the electorate, you know what to do to end these things,” said Motsamai. The legislator

recounted a number of instances where some of his constituents have come to confess to him that DIS had offered them money to help frame him but they refused. This is not the first time that the MP has accused DIS of being used for political ends. The head of the spy agency, Peter Magosi has, in the past, rubbished Moswaane’s claims that he is being followed.

Moswaane’s collision with the BDP leadership is not new as he has also clashed with the leadership of former president Khama. In 2009 Moswaane contested and won Monarch south ward as an independent candidate after rejecting the primary election results which he found controversial.

In 2013 he and the BDP were disqualified from contesting a by-election by the Independent Electoral Commission. This was after the party had neglected to hear Whyte Marobela who had challenged the primary election results involving himself and Moswaane.

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BEWARE THE BPF

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NOT TRUSTED: The BNF veterans body does not trust anything with BDP roots

Botswana National Front (BNF) Veterans Association is cautioning the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to “tread carefully” regarding a possible working relationship with newly-formed Botswana Patrictic Front (BPF).

“UDC has to tread carefully because BDP never changes and the opposition never learns,” said the Association’s Chairman Patrick Kgoadi ahead of their meeting this weekend.The BPF is the latest breakaway offspring of the ruling party and is backed by a number of former BDP’s disgruntled members among them former president Ian Khama, former minister Biggie Butale and Tati East MP Guma Moyo. At a recent meeting in Serowe, Khama confirmed the membership of Moyo while over this past weekend, Butale insinuated that former minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi was also a member of the new party.

Kgoadi said even though it might be seen to be a good thing to work with BPF, the opposition should vigorously scrutinise the party and its intended purpose as the relationship could backfire and cost the opposition victory in the national polls. The purpose of the Saturday meeting is to discuss the collapsed structures of BNF, preparations for 2019 general elections, developments at UDC and formation of new party BPF.

According to Kgoadi, they have observed that the BNF structures are not as active as they should be especially during the election year.“Our structures used to be more active on election year. This year things are just blurry and this is worrisome. Even at UDC level BNF should be playing a leading role not only in the presidency but across the country. “We always have to be taking a leading role as a party that plays a significant role in uniting opposition parties.

“So as veterans we would be discussing these issues and how we could advise both the BNF and UDC leadership,” said Kgoadi. The veterans have since the formation of the association been at loggerheads with the BNF Central Committee on how things are run both at the BNF and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The veterans have thus been accused by the party leadership of always blowing things out of proportion and failing to use proper party channels when discussing internal matters.

BNF Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa has on several occasions pointed out that the veterans have served the party for long and should know processes and procedures to be followed when addressing internal matters. He expressed concern that the veterans always use channels that are not sanctioned by the party and its constitution. Kgoadi said the BNF central committee has for long been disingenuous and refused to meet them since 2017.

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