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Gaborone youth rap MYSC, CEDA

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Gaborone based youth have singled out the turnaround time for funding of their projects and the lack of attention to the Arts by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) as the main hindrances they face. This emerged during an interactive session between the MYSC minister, Thapelo Olopeng and Gaborone based youth at the National Youth Centre in Gaborone. Senwelo Mere, a tailor who specialises in curtain making, complained that her application for funding has never been responded to.

Mere revealed that she started her small business through self-funding. She also said that has since lost four employees due to the lack of financial support. She pleaded with the minister to fast track the turnaround time for responses so that they are kept in the loop on their application progress.
In response Olopeng stated that the turnaround time in processing applications is the main concern that he is tackling. He concurred that if indeed a business has shut down due to the lengthy turnaround time then the ministry would have failed the applicant.

The minister emphasized that in the case of re-financing for previously funded businesses or projects they will be partnering with Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA). However, one young upcoming entrepreneur was quick to express his hesitancy regarding CEDA. “CEDA is for people born with silver spoons in their mouths, I am really disappointed that what they preach at their open day events is not what is happening on the ground. They do not mention the issue of their outrageous demands in regards to security when they tell Batswana about their products and services,” complained Benny Masoro.

Olopeng stated that he will invite the CEDA Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Thamane to his upcoming sessions with the youth so they engage him with their concerns. A popular local DJ Tshephang Izzy Motsisi also added his displeasure at the turnaround time in regards to his application.
Motsisi is an approved Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) holder. He is also a general Arts teacher who aims to expand his craft beyond the classroom. Olopeng responded to Motsisi by explaining that Arts are a vital aspect when developing the economy and assured the youth that he is working on having them fully recognised.

The minister highlighted that they plan to establish a second television channel to support BTV, adding that the channel will be affiliated to DSTV to give local artists more international exposure. The minister reminded the youth to brace themselves for the Economic Stimulus Package. “I urge all of you to be ready for the ESP because I want the youth to be at the forefront.

We will first focus on small projects that will require local manpower. You should take advantage of this opportunity and not be left at the rear,” advised Olopeng. Olopeng concluded that the long-term strategy is to translate the local arts into recognized and respected professions to enable artists to make a living by generating income and creating employment. Moving forward, the minster intends to push for funding of ICT programs so the youth can attain and access more interactive platforms.  

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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