In 2010, Cresta Marakanelo and the University of Botswana (UB) merged the industry and academia to develop a comprehensive ‘on the job training’ programme which is now reaching six years. The two are bound by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which aims to identify two excelling graduates from the UB’s Tourism and Hospitality Department to be inducted into the two (2) year Cresta Management Development Programme.
“Over the years this is the main pool from which Cresta derives its management team,” explains Tawanda Makhaya, Managing Director at Cresta. Last week on 18th November, a small but befitting Excellence Award Ceremony was held at Cresta (Old Naledi) to honour and induct the latest two excelling UB Tourism and Hospitality graduates, Kamogelo Makgolo and Fikile Moswaane. The two young ladies, both 23-years-old, shone in their moment of pride as they expressed their gratitude to God, their support system in the form of family and mentors and to Cresta.
All the relevant players were in attendance at this award giving meet including Sandra Pabalinga, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Manager at BQA who expressed her pleasure at the strategic merger. “One of our greatest concerns at BQA is the quality of education. Let’s not forget that quality is a moving target. In this case the Cresta Management Development Programme is accredited with us at the BQA”. Employers or companies tend to complain about the ‘lack of practical experience’ in regards to graduates, that they have more theory as compared to practice.
Hence Pabalinga is impressed by this coupling of industry and academia; specifically that industry in this instance is engaged and involved in bridging this gap. She said that BQA is currently auditing its clients or education and training institutions and providers and observes that there have been great improvements in this sector. Most importantly that clients now recognise the BQA as more than a regulator but a partner. “At the end of the day we regulate education and training so quality assurance standards are met for all training in the country,” said Pabalinga.
Another key player in the industry who spoke at the award ceremony and also motivated the two young exemplary women was Dr. Patrick Molutsi, CEO of the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC). “This is definitely a marriage of convenience between Cresta and the UB,” said Dr. Molutsi. One of their targets and defining features at the HRDC is to turn the education system from, ‘supply to demand driven’.
“These hands-on demand driven programmes will ensure that products of our institution come with practical experience,” said Dr. Molutsi adding and agreeing with Pabalinga that, “This will help with reducing the sharp cultural divide between industry and academia.” He explained that they benchmarked this training concept using a university in Finland recognised for its strong links with the hospitality industry. “We do not encourage hotels to create their own schools. We strongly believe in corporation, improving existing training programmes not starting your own as hotels.”
Professor Onkutlwile Othata, Dean of the Faculty of Business at the UB shared the numbers as they relate to the training programme at Cresta. “Since 2014 there have been 19 UB students absorbed for the six-month attachment. Cresta has also promised to take in 40 students for the internship programme starting January 2016,” stated Professor Othata.
The Cresta Management Development Programme has produced ‘industry giants’ added Makhaya. “We have trained credible names such as Godfrey Khupe and the late CEO of Fairgrounds Holdings, may his soul rest in peace. We have also trained the CEO of BTO,” said the MD beaming with pride.
‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’
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
MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH
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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