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Creativity earns Maun youngster additional

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Driven by passion for art and business, the youthful Maun born Kebakaone Tsamaoba has found a business opportunity that continues to represent the town, its name, Proud Maun Rep (PMR0).

Graphic designer by profession, Tsamaloba started using his graphic designing skills while still a student at Limkokwing University to make art creations back in 2011. He believes that Maun has huge potential to sell the country, hence his use of the tourist town’s monuments in his graphics.

According to Tsamaloba, he has long wanted to set up a business but had no funds for the start-up capital. “I planned on teaming up with friends who brushed my idea aside and shunned me,” he explains. It was the same friends who later came back asking for partnership after realising the idea was viable. Tsamaloba incorporates ideas and cultural monuments found in Maun to make designs, which he then prints into T-shirts, shirts, hoodies and caps. “Among other things that I have used to sell and brand Maun is “tswii” – the town’s main staple food.

The Maun youngster adds that he has since opened a clothing boutique in Maun and has a full-time shop assistant. “I intend on expanding the business especially the branded clothing business by opening another boutique here in Gaborone because the demand for our PMR branded clothes in Gaborone continues to grow,” said Tsamaloba. Tsamaloba says that although he has a full-time job, he has learnt that there is a continued need for youngsters in the country to have multiple streams of income. “Youngsters need to learn and master the huge concept of financial literacy too, that way we can be able to make a valuable contribution in the economic growth of our country through own very own established businesses,” he added.

“PMR has been able to maintain growth because I followed the fire burning inside of me. I did not follow what naysayers thought of me and that is what sustained me and helped me to endure. Every youth in Botswana must follow what resonates them,” said Tsamaloba.

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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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