REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND HOME AFFAIRS

NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY

Price P4,00

FEBRUARY, 1996

 

 

MINISTER'S STATEMENT

As Minister of Labour and Home Affairs I am pleased to present this National Youth Policy.

 

This Policy is a result of broad consultation with government, non-governmental organisations, the Botswana National Youth Council and young people. Its design and promulgation is a symbol of commitment by the Botswana Government to the importance of youth development.

 

Young people vary dramatically in their skills, experiences, lifestyles, problems and capacities. They are the most precious resource for the future of our nation and the key to our long term development. For the benefit of Botswana's future, we must promote and support the development of all our young women and men.

 

Young people may be our future leaders, but they are also an important resource for our society today. Whilst they can face many problems and difficulties, they also have talents, resources and energy that are of value to the whole country. We must ensure that young people are given support, encouragement and opportunity to utilise this resource where ever possible.

 

I am confident that the National Youth Policy will infuse strong personal, moral and ethical values amongst young people, whilst at the same time, affording them the opportunity to be dynamic, competitive and resourceful partners in the socio-economic development of Botswana.

 

The National Youth Policy is a call for action. To succeed, it must have the active participation and support of the entire society - from government agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, the broader community, and to young people themselves. All of these groups must collaborate and cooperate together through the framework provided by the National Youth Policy to enhance the contribution and resources that young people bring to national development.

 

Hon. B. K. Temane

Minister Labour and Home Affairs

 



 

1 INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 Purpose of the National Youth Policy

The National Youth Policy is a framework for youth development in Botswana which endeavours to ensure that young women and men are given every opportunity to reach their full potential, both as individuals and as active citizens in Botswana society. The Policy addresses the major concerns and issues critical for young people in Botswana and gives direction to youth programmes and services provided by government and non­government organisations.

 

Through the National Youth Policy the Government of Botswana declares the importance of the active involvement of young people in national development and demonstrates the distinctive and complementary roles of all Government ministries, the non-government sector and youth groups in youth development; providing a framework for common goals and the development of a spirit of cooperation and coordination.

 

The National Youth Policy will provide the framework and justification for a National Action Plan which will be produced to describe the role of all agencies engaged in youth development and the programmes, services, facilities and activities they undertake to achieve the goals and objectives of the Policy.

 

1.2 Definition of a young person

The National Youth Policy is directed toward young males and females who are aged from 12 to 29 years. Young people in this age group require social, economic and political support to realise their full potential. This is a time in life when most young people are going through dramatic changes in their life circumstances as they move from childhood to adulthood. It is recognised, however, that there may be some people who fall outside this age range but who may experience similar circumstances to other young people (e.g. there may be 10 year olds who are not engaged in full-time education). Thus, this definition is intended to indicate the primary target group, without excluding those who may share similar circumstances.

 

The National Youth Policy also recognises that not all young people are the same. Where some young people are at school or training institutions, others are not; where some are engaged in employment, others are unemployed; there are young people in rural and urban environments; whilst some live with their parents, others are themselves parents; some young people are disabled whilst others have been the victims of abuse or mistreatment. Thus, the National Youth Policy endeavours to provide a means whereby the development of all young people in Botswana can be promoted regardless of their social or economic circumstances.

 

1.3 The importance of young people in Botswana

Young people in Botswana represent a high proportion of the overall population; At the time of the last census, in August 1991, there were 475,443 young people recorded-in Botswana aged from 12 to 29 years. This constituted 36 per cent of the total population. Furthermore, the census has demonstrated that 60 per cent of the total population in Botswana is below the age of 30 years. Young people, therefore, by their numbers alone, require the attention of the Government and the community.

 

The size of the youth population in Botswana is not the only reason for Government attention. Young people in Botswana, as distinct from other groups in society, experience a range of special characteristics, problems, needs and interests. These issues require special attention if they are to enhance the capacity of young people to contribute to the future of their country.

 

 

 

1.4 Rationale

The National Youth Policy has been established within the broader frame work of national development for Botswana which is embodied in the four national principles, being:

 

Democracy       Puso ya batho ka batho

Development    Ditiro tsa ditlhabololo

Self-reliance     Boipelego

Unity                Popagano ya sechaba

 

The National Youth Policy provides the Government of Botswana with the opportunity to promote these principles amongst young people. Thus, the Policy expresses:

 

i           Appreciation of the precious qualities and talents of young women and men in Botswana;

 

ii           Acknowledgment of the aspirations and needs of young people in preparing for adult life and employment; and

 

iii          Recognition of the services, facilities and programmes that are required on a national basis to encourage and enable the achievement and potential contribution of all young people.

 

It is recognised that the development of young people in Botswana requires many different groups and sectors in society. The National Youth Policy provides a means whereby these different sectors of society (government, non-government, community, and private sectors) as well as young people themselves, can work together to achieve common goals.

 

1.5 Conditions affecting young people in Botswana

There are a number of special conditions which can be found to affect the situation young Botswana find themselves in. These conditions are as follows:

 

i           Young people in education and training

Education, especially education provided through school, is an experience that shapes the lives of many young people. Participation in education and training is considered important because it provides an essential foundation for developing life and vocational skills. Of greatest concern for young people when examining their experiences in education and training are the following issues:

 

The high number of out-of-school young people. The 1991 Census has indicated that some 17 per cent of young people age 7 to 13 years were not enrolled in school. There is a growing number of young people, of all ages, in Botswana today who are not participating in any form of education or training. This is a concern, not just because these young people are missing out on the benefits of education, but also because they are more likely to be at risk in terms of unemployment, health problems and participation in criminal activities.

 

The lack of participation in education and training, whether it be at primary, secondary, technical or tertiary levels, has been found to be a result of a number of factors. These can include geographical location, gender, culture and disability.

 

The limited number of career pathways available. Education in Botswana has tended to follow formal paths oriented toward academic achievement. The Ministry of Education has recently recognised

the need to both diversify and vocationally orient the curriculum that is taught in education and training institutions in Botswana so that young people are provided with knowledge and skills that can assist them in dealing with the demands of adult life and increase their potential for gaining employment.

 

ii           Young people and health

In general, young women and men represent one of the healthiest groups of the Botswana population. The major threats to the health status of young people result from an inter-connected range of behavioural factors which place the health of young people at risk. These factors include:

 

Risks associated with sexuality, including:

Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs), including HIV/AIDS. Young people are prominent in the figures of STD and HIV infection in Botswana and, as such, represent one of the major groups who are at risk in this area.

 

Pregnancy amongst young women. The rates of pregnancy amongst young women in Botswana are high and have often been cited as a significant factor in the reasons why young women are forced to leave school.

 

Alcohol and substance abuse.

Alcohol and substance abuse amongst young people appears to be significant. This includes the use of tobacco by minors, as well as the use of cannabis. Alcohol and substance abuse can directly affect a young person's health and can indirectly lead to other threats upon one's health, such as through violence and accidents.

 

iii          Young people in the labour market

Unemployment is one of the greatest problems facing young people in Botswana today. The following table provides the unemployment rates by age group and sex in 1991. It shows that unemployment amongst young people is considerably high and that young women are far more disadvantaged in this regard than are young men.


 

Unemployment rates of young people by age group (1991)

Age

Male (%)

Female (%)

Total (%)

12-14

13.8

29.8

17.1

15-19

24.5

42.3

31.2

20-24

17.5

28.9

22.4

25-34

11.3

14.6

12.7

Source: Labour statistics 1991/92, Central Statistics Office Note: These figures represent the proportion of the total number of job seekers in 1991.

 

Rapid economic developments require Botswana to find ways and means of ensuring that young people can lead economically useful and productive lives. Failure to do so means that large numbers of young people do not feel valued personally or socially and their need to participate and contribute is unfulfilled. The lack of employment can also lead to other problems such as poverty, poor health and involvement in criminal activities.

 

iv Young people, crime and violence

Young people's involvement in crime is a growing concern in Botswana. Offences committed by young people include among others traffic offences, malicious injury to property, common theft, house breaking, common assault, armed robbery, rape, murder, and use and trafficking of habit forming drugs.

 

Young males feature more predominantly in the crime figures than do' young women. Although there is also grave concern for young people who are the victims of crime and the situation of young women in this regard.

 

The links between crime, unemployment and the lack of education appear prominent. It is for this reason that responses to growing juvenile crime will often involve different government ministries and different sectors of the community. These responses must incorporate measures to prevent crime as well as measures for dealing with young delinquents.

 

v          Young people and culture

Culture performs an important part of life in Botswana. However, there are a number of factors which are creating change to traditional cultural life.  These include the intrusive forms of international media, the introduction of foreign cultures and the increasing urbanisation of much of the population. The extent to which young people find a base in their own culture appears to be diminishing as other cultural norms compete with traditional ones, and the pressure of modern life requires young people to search for new solutions. This can leave young people without clear "roots" or understanding of their own traditions which can undermine their self identity and ability to deal with the pressures of life.

 

Changing family structures and the increasing urbanisation of towns and regional centres in Botswana are challenging traditional patterns of behaviour. This can bring with it new health risks for young people as they try to find appropriate role models and ways of behaving in a changing society. Thus, the transition of Botswana society compounds the problems experienced by young people and is a major influence on behaviour.

 

vi          Young people and gender

Of the 475, 443 young people (aged 12 to 29 years) counted in the 1991 Census on Population and Housing 48 per cent were male and 52 per cent female. The experience of being young can differ between male and female. The impact of gender on the opportunities, needs and aspirations of young people 'can be significant. Traditional attitudes toward the roles of women and men require examination. Young women, for example, are often restricted from participating fully in development processes due to a number of socio-cultural practices in society. Thus, there is a need to ensure that the contribution that young people can make toward national development, as well as their own development and that of their communities, is not limited or restricted because of gender.

 

vii Abuse of young people

Young people are often without social status and influence and are usually dependent upon others older than themselves. These factors can place them in a vulnerable situation where they may become the victims of abuse.

 

The abuse of young people can take many forms, including child labour, physical abuse, sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Whilst the age of the young person, their gender and their own social skills and understanding of the law and their rights may influence the extent to which young people are vulnerable to these abuses, such behaviour must be seen as indicative of a broader societal problem where young people require protection.

 

viii Young people, sports and recreation

Sport and recreation contribute to the maintenance and improvement of health, the development of skills, self confidence, leadership and team work. These activities enrich social relations and develop a sense of fair play. The lack of appropriate facilities and organisation of sports and recreation can reduce the participation by young people in these activities and limit the benefits such activities create.

 

Lack of participation in sports and recreation can lead to boredom and even the pursuit of less desirable forms of behaviour such as the use of alcohol and other drugs, and criminal activities.

 

ix          The regional distribution of young people

Of the young people counted in the 1991 Census on Population and Housing some 52 per cent lived in urban centres whilst the remaining 48 per cent lived in rural areas. Whilst urban migration is increasing, there are still many young women and men living in rural areas.

 

Life in rural areas can be very different to life in towns. There may be differences in services, opportunities, infrastructure, community cohesion, as well as different influences upon lifestyles (i.e. traditional and modern lifestyles). The National Youth Policy recognises these differences and promotes ways to ensure that such variations are considered when programmes and services are being designed.

 

2 GOALS

The National Youth Policy strives to:

 

A         Recognise and promote the participation and contribution of young women and men in Botswana's socio-economic development.

 

B          Develop a coordinated contribution and participation by all stakeholders involved youth development programmes and activities at grassroot and national levels, including non-Governmental Organisations..

 

 

C         Develop structures and strategies that are supportive of young people's initiatives and capable of promoting social responsibilities and national pride amongst the youth, as well as enabling families and communities to present positive role models..

 


3  OBJECTIVES


In addressing the main goals of the National Youth Policy, the following objectives will be pursed. These are outlined according to the specific goal they address.

Goal A:            Recognise and promote the participation and contribution of young women and men in Botswana's socio-economic development.

 

Objectives: This goal shall be met through the following objectives:

 

A.1 To involve young people at the planning, decision makirig and implementation levels of development programmes.

 

A.2 To assist young people in attaining the knowledge, skills and experiences required to enable them to effectively participate in national development and society as a whole.

 

A.3 To recognise, promote and support the efforts of young people in community, district and national development efforts through programmes which promote leadership, practical skills and opportunities for participation.

 

A.4 To address the specific social, economic, and health problems faced by young people which inhibit their capacity to participate in society.

 

 

Goal B: Develop a coordinated contribution and participation by all stakeholders involved in youth development programmes and activities at grassroot and national levels, including Non-Governmental Organisations..

 

Objectives: This goal shall be met through the following objectives:

 

B.1 To design a comprehensive, multi-sectoral response to the major problems and needs of young people in Botswana.


B.2       To establish mechanisms that ensure collaboration and cooperation amongst relevant government, non-government and community stake-holders.

 

B.3       To ensure that adequate resources are directed towards youth development programmes and that the financial accountability and sustainability are promoted.

 

B4        To promote the harmonisation of other policies, research, programmes and strategies that are oriented toward young people.

 

 

Goal C:            Develop structures and strategies that are supportive of young people's initiatives and capable of promoting social responsibilities and national pride amongst the youth, as well as enabling families and communities to present positive role models.

 

Objectives: This goal shall be met through the following objectives:

 

C.1      To promote and safeguard the rights of young people and the responsibilities that the broader community has toward its young people.

 

C.2      To promote healthy lifestyles amongst young people.

 

C.3      To promote the spirit of patriotism and participation amongst young people in all national activities.

 

C.4      To ensure that young people have access to adequate and appropriate programmes and services regardless of their geographic location, race, gender, level of disability and social, religious and economic circumstances.


 

4     RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF YOUNG PEOPLE

The National Youth Policy recognises that young people in Botswana have a number of fundamental rights. These include, the right to:

 

good parental care

 

freedom of expression

 

protection from any form of exploitation, discrimination and abuse

 

representation by young people in decision making bodies affecting youth affairs

 

access to all benefits of citizenship such as education, training, employment, legal services, health care, recreation, etc.

 

individual and collective ownership of property

 

freedom to form lawful association on their own.

 

The rights of young women and men in Botswana comes with responsibilities. The National Youth Policy, whilst promoting the rights of young people, also encourages young people to understand and fulfil their obligations. Thus, young people should:

 

participate in the social, cultural and economic development of the country

 

develop an understanding of the need for national and international unity amongst young people

 

be engaged in vocational training which is oriented primarily towards gaining employment or becoming self employed

 

develop, appreciate and respect national cultural norms and values

 

cultivate leadership values, tendencies and capacities as positive role models

 


take an active involvement in decision making at all levels affecting their lives

 

 

The National Youth Policy promotes an important role for adults in guiding young people. Adults are to be encouraged to recognise their responsibilities:

 

as positive role models

 

as providers for the physical, emotional, mental, moral, cultural, spiritual and economic well-being of young people

 

as supporters and encouragers for young people to participate in education, training and employment

 

to accept young people, and to recognise and acknowledge their potential contribution to the society:

 

to co-operate with young people in all development programmes.

 

 

5  KEY STRATEGY AREAS

Whilst recognising the wide range of strategies and initiatives that can be taken to address the issues of concern to young people in Botswana, the following key strategy areas deserve special attention:

 

 

5.1     The provision of appropriate education and training for young people

The National Youth Policy recognises that eduction and training for young people in Botswana is a joint responsibility between parents, schools, public and private sectors, the community as,well as young people themselves. Young people and parents alike, need to recognise the value of education and training. Without this understanding the motivation for education and training will not exist. Thus, concerted efforts need to be made to promote the value and importance of education and training for all young women and men.

 

It is important that, in line with the Education Policy, education and training in Botswana broadens and increases the life and career opportunities for young people. To this end, both the curriculum and the methods of teaching must be diversified and vocationally oriented. This must include such issues as leadership training and entrepreneurial skills and attitudes. There should also be scope for young people to learn skills that relate to the economic base of their region, for example animal husbandry and agriculture.

 

In addition, young people must be supported by relevant counselling and support services to help guide and encourage them in their planning and development. Greater links between education and training services and the private sector will encourage these services to become more relevant to the employment and economic demands of the labour market.

 

A multi-sectoral approach is needed to deal with the problem of out-of-school young people; one that brings teachers, social workers, police, youth officers, NGOs and other relevant people in the community together to deal with this issue in a comprehensive manner.

 

5.2    The promotion of health amongst young people

 

Behavioural factors are those which are most likely to put the health of young women and men at risk. This includes matters related to sexual health as well as the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other substances. It is through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and behaviours, and the development of personal confidence and self esteem, that young people will be more able to prevent themselves from placing their health at risk. Whilst this includes behaviours of direct relevance to sexual health, family planning and drug abuse, it also involves issues such as nutrition and diet, hygiene, sport and leisure, family life and parenting skills. Parents and the broader community also need to recognise the important roles they can play in promoting healthy lifestyles to young people.

For those young women and men who are experiencing ill-health, access to appropriate support and treatment services is essential. In some cases, specific youth-oriented services will be established to address particular aspects of the problems experienced by young people. For example, services for young pregnant women, counselling and support for those young people diagnosed with HIV, counselling and support for young people who are misusing alcohol and other substances.

 

5.3     The provision of employment to young people

 

Unemployment is one of the greatest problems facing young women and men in Botswana and responding to it requires the efforts of all sectors of society. In some cases this requires specific youth-oriented programmes that improve the skills, productivity and experiences of young people. In other cases it will involve a broader development strategy that stimulates the economy so that there are a greater number of employment opportunities available.

 

There is a great need for linkages between the private sector and labour market programmes so that the skills, experiences and capacities of young people can reflect the demands of employers. This will involve apprenticeship schemes which place young people with an employer to gain work experience and training, whilst also undergoing structured training and skills development provided by vocational training centres. Other programmes of industrial placement and work experience will also be provided.

 

Those young people who are employed should be encouraged and supported by their employers to develop new skills. The promotion of productivity through a well trained and competent workforce should create opportunities for young people to participate in programmes and schemes which enhance the contribution they make to the economy and improve their own career prospects.

 

The promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment provides a direct means through which the talents and resources of young people can be used to address the problem of youth unemployment. Programmes in this field must be practical and market-oriented; they should be provided through a range of institutions, including schools, vocational training centres, community organisations and NGOs.

 

The informal sector is a major source economic activity and employment, especially in rural areas. Thus, the expansion of this sector can increase opportunities for young people in these areas.

 

Young unemployed people often find community based training and support programmes more accessible than government institutions. These programmes can cover a wide range of services including counselling, career guidance, vocational and enterprise training, as well as income generating projects through which new skills can be learnt whilst additional income is earned.

 

5.4      The active participation of young people in recreation, sports and leisure

The National Youth Policy promotes the participation of young women and men in recreation, leisure and sporting activities. - To this end, there is a need for effective coordination, the development of facilities and access by young people to these facilities, the provision of services (e.g. training and guidance) and the involvement of all sectors (i.e. government, community and private sectors) in these endeavours.

 

Recreation, sport and leisure, at an individual level, contribute to the maintenance and improvement of health, provide a wholesome leisure-time occupation and enable humans to deal with the demands of modern living. At the community level, these activities enrich social relations and develop a sense of fair play which is essential not only to sport itself but also to life in society.

 

There is a need for the design of a clear policy on sport, recreation and leisure in Botswana; one which encapsulates a broad understanding as to why these services and facilities are important. Such a policy should also begin to tackle the problems of effective coordination, the limited financial support provided for facilities, and the variations in the standards of facilities that are available (especially between rural and urban facilities).

 

5.5     The role of Tirelo Sechaba in youth and national development

Tirelo Sechaba is a national service programme for all young Botswana and represents a significant mechanism for the participation of young people in national development. In 1992/93 some 6,200 young women and men participated in this one year programme.

 

Tirelo Sechaba should continue to receive support form the Government of Botswana and should be reviewed to ensure that it remains relevant to the needs and aspirations of young people along with the development needs of the country as a whole. In particular, Tirelo Sechaba should offer a broader range of well structured placement opportunities for young people so as to link the efforts of young people in this programme to the development capacities and needs of regional communities. The development of leadership skills and attitudes of self-reliance and citizenship, along side practical skills and experiences can be developed as a significant feature of this scheme. Greater emphasis on career counselling and personal support measures would also enhance the significant role that Tirelo Sechaba can play in fostering the development of young Botswana.

 

 5.6    The development of youth talent

Often young people are viewed by broader society as a source of many problems. This, however, is a wrong and misleading opinion. Whilst young people may be the leaders of our society in the future, they are also contributors and participants today. Efforts should be made by all agencies involved with young people to recognise and promote the contributions, talent, resources, skills and creativity of young women and men in Botswana.

 

The promotion and development of youth talent will require a wide range of programmes and initiatives. These can be conducted on national, district or local levels; they can involve specific sectors, for example handicrafts and the arts; and they can promote different areas of activity (including the work place, the community and the family). Such programmes and initiatives can involve campaigns which promote the participation and contribution of young women and men to society.

 

A National Youth Development Fund shall also be established under the auspice of the Botswana National Youth Council, promoting and supporting the involvement of young people in economic, social, cultural, environmental and self-help activities.

 

 

6    KEY TARGET GROUPS

The National Youth Policy is the basis for developing opportunities for all Batswana young people. However, certain key groups have been identified for specific attention due to the difficulties they face. These are as follows:

 

 

6.1      Young women

Young women face particular difficulties in Botswana society today. They experience levels of unemployment that are higher than their male counter-parts and they tend to have fewer occupational opportunities. The high number of teenage pregnancies that can be found in Botswana also suggest that young women require specific support measures in this regard.

 

 

6.2     Unemployed young people

The experience of unemployment can bring with it a number of other social ills, including participation in crime, drug and alcohol abuse, poor health and the loss of confidence to participate in broader society. Thus, unemployed young people require the attention of government and non-government agencies to deal with the wide range of concerns and problems they can experience.

 

 

6.3     Out-of-school young people

Those school aged young people who are not attending school are of great concern. Apart from missing proper education, these people can be at risk in many other ways. They may become "street kids" or homeless if not provided with appropriate support and encouraged to continue their education.

 

 

6.4       Rural young people

Young people in rural areas are often more disadvantaged than those who live in urban settings. They have less access to services and facilities and the opportunities for employment is less than in urban areas.

 

6.5        Young people and crime

Whilst the National Youth Policy recognises that there are a number of factors which can lead young people into crime and violence and the need for preventative action in these areas, there is also a need to assist those young people who are exhibiting delinquent behaviour. This can include the provision of specific youth-oriented correctional facilities and the development of counselling and support services.

 

 

6.6        Young people with disabilities

Young people with disabilities require specific strategies of support and assistance to ensure   that they have adequate access and opportunity to participate fully in society and contribute to the broader community. This will require measures to be taken within schools, the work place, and the broader community.

 

 

7   REVIEW OF THE POLICY

The National Youth Policy requires periodic monitoring, review and assessment to ensure that it remains responsive to the needs, aspirations and capacities of young women and men, and the directions of Botswana's broader development objectives. With this purpose, a mechanism for Policy review will be created; one which involves those organisations involved in youth development and one which integrates with the country's development plans as articulated through the National Development Plan.

 

The Department of Youth Affairs, within the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, will be responsible for a periodic review of the National Youth Policy. This will occur every three years and will coincide with the period in which the National Development Plan is being revised, or undergoing its mid-term review. In this way, the National Youth Policy will remain complementary to the broader development objectives as outlined in each National Development Plan.

 

When conducting this review, the Department of Youth Affairs will work closely along side the Botswana National Youth Council so that the consultation with non-government youth organisations is adequate. The Department will also utilise the proposed Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Youth Affairs to receive inputs from all relevant ministries into the review process.


 

APPENDIX  1 

IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISMS The National Youth Policy seeks to promote a multi-sectoral approach to youth affairs. It is recognised that many of the needs and problems experienced by young women and men require a holistic and comprehensive response. Leaving this response to one ministry or one community-based agency is not enough. There is a need for all of government (i.e. local, district and central levels of government) to work together with NGOs, the private sector, churches, youth groups and any other community agency, to address these matters. All parties must work together with a common purpose, avoiding duplication, and maximising the resources and capabilities that each can apply to this task.This requires the creation of appropriate structures and mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and cooperation and to ensure that youth services and ogrammes are well coordinated and responsive to the needs and opportunities of young people. Within the Government of Botswana this will be achieved through the creation of a Department of Youth Affairs in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs. Whilst within the non-government sector the Botswana National Youth Council will be supported in its role as the main coordinating and advisory body.

 

A         Government mechanisms for the coordination and implementation of youth affairs

The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs shall be the ministry with responsibilities for the coordination of youth affairs in Botswana and shall oversee the implementation of youth programmes and services. A Department of Youth Affairs shall be created within the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs to ensure that the demands of the youth sector are adequately addressed. The major functions of this Department will be as follow:

 

i.        To develop and review policy in all matters related to youth affairs.

 

ii           To promote collaborative efforts within relevant Government ministries.

 

iii          To promote collaborative efforts between all NGOs and the Government of Botswana, and any other relevant stake-holders.

 

iv          To implement and monitor youth programmes and initiatives.

v          To identify and support the roles and functions of regional councils in regards to youth affairs.

 

vi          To design and maintain an effective interface between the government (at central, district and local levels) and the non-government sector.

 

vii         To initiate, conduct and distribute research and information related to youth affairs and youth programmes in Botswana.

 

Appendix 1 contains an outline of the main structure and functions of the Department.

 

The creation of the Department of Youth Affairs is a demonstration of the commitment the Government of Botswana has toward the issues of young people and the importance of youth development. It will, for the first time in Botswana, enable the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs to create the capacity to promote youth development in a holistic, coordinated and effective manner.

 

To ensure that the Government of Botswana deals with youth affairs in a consistent and coordinated manner the Department of Youth Affairs will establish an Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Youth Affairs comprising of representatives for all relevant ministries within the Government of Botswana. In particular, the following ministries will be required to participate in this Committee:

 

Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing

 

Ministry of Education

 

Ministry of Health

 

Ministry of Agriculture

 

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

 

Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration

 

Ministry of Finance and Development Planning

 

Each ministry represented on this Committee will be required to create within its own organisational structure, a Youth Focal Point. This will be an officer within the ministry who has sufficient seniority and understanding of the overall functions and activities of the ministry so as to represent the ministry on the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Youth Affairs. The Youth Focal Point will report on those activities of the ministry which relate to the National Youth Policy and will work with other Committee members to promote an all-of-government response to youth development in Botswana.

 

B          Promoting coordination of youth affairs in the non-government sector

Within the non-government sector the Botswana National Youth Council will be strengthened to bring together NGOs to effectively plan and implement programmes of significance to young people. The Botswana National Youth Council provides an important mechanism for the planning and development of youth affairs, and -has the following objectives:

 

To advise government on all matters pertaining to youth activities in the non­government sector.

 

To guide, encourage and plan youth activities amongst the non-government sector.

 

To coordinate, by exchange of information and discussion the voluntary organisations working with or for youth.

 

To promote a channel through which organisations can be informed of government policy and programmes affecting youth.

 

To be non-sectarian and to avoid formal associations with any political party.

 

To provide advice to the Department of Youth Affairs on the allocation of funds for youth services to the non-government sector.

 

To administer a National Youth Development Fund which will be used to support young people's participation in education, cultural, enterprise, environmental and self-help activities.

 

At a district level District Youth Councils will be established and strengthened as an important mechanism for planning and development of youth affairs, and to promote collaboration of all stake-holders within each district. The objectives and functions of

each District Youth Councils shall reflect that of the Botswana National Youth Council whilst suiting the particular needs of each district.

 

Appendix 2 contains further details on the Botswana National Youth Council and District Youth Councils.

 

The capacity of NGOs to be able to deliver effective youth services will be enhanced through the provision of logistical and financial support. Such support may be provided by government, the community, donor agencies, the private sector, or churches. The Department of Youth Affairs and the Botswana National Youth Council will work together to promote the delivery of effective and efficient services through the non­government sector.

 

Appendix 3 provides a diagrammatic illustration of the relationship between the Department of Youth Affairs and the Botswana National Youth Council.

 

Putting the National Youth Policy into action

The National Youth Policy provides a focus and direction for all groups and individuals concerned with young women and men in Botswana. In addition, it seeks to provide a frame work for action over a three year period.

 

Every three years a National Action Plan will be produced to provide a practical statement on the implementation of the National Youth Policy, reflecting the directions, priorities and strategy areas of the Policy. The National Action Plan will build upon the goals and objectives of the National Youth Policy and demonstrate a holistic response of all relevant agencies to the needs of young people in Botswana today. The Plan will clearly define the specific actions to be undertaken; when they will be undertaken and by whom. It will also indicate what resources are required to effectively undertake these actions.

 

The development of the National Action Plan will be coordinated by the Department of Youth Affairs and will involve the Botswana National Youth Council, District Youth Councils and the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Youth Affairs.

 

 

APPENDIX 2

STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AFFAIRS, MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND HOME AFFAIRS

 

Formation of the new Department

The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs currently holds the youth portfolio for the Government of Botswana and is responsible for policy formulation and coordination. As such, the Minister for Labour and Home Affairs is responsible to Cabinet and Parliament for the coordination, implementation and evaluation of the National Youth Policy. This responsibility was transferred from the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing in 1989. However, the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing still retains a number of functional roles for the implementation of youth, and youth-related, programmes.

 

At the local level, the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing has effective administrative and operational structures. In the move toward a new Department of Youth Affairs within the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs it will be necessary to determine ways in which local and district administrative arrangements can be established in a cost effective manner.

 

It is proposed, therefore, that the Ministries of Labour and Home Affairs, and Local Government, Lands and Housing establish a joint task force to consider the operational adjustments required to facilitate the transfer of responsibilities from one ministry to the other, and to identify key issues to be addressed to effectively facilitate this transfer. This task force should be convened as soon as possible.

 

Functions of the Department

The major functions of the Department of Youth Affairs will be as follows:

 

i           To develop and review policy in all matters related to youth affairs.

 

ii           To promote collaborative efforts within relevant Government ministries.

 

iii          To promote collaborative efforts between all NGOs and the Government of Botswana, and any other relevant stake-holders.

 

iv          To implement and monitor youth programmes and initiatives.


 

 

v          To identify and support the roles and functions of regional councils in regards to youth affairs.

 

vi          To design and maintain an effective interface between the government (at central,, district and local levels) and the non-government sector.

 

vii         To initiate, conduct and distribute research and information related to youth affairs and youth programmes in Botswana.

 

Structure of the Department

The Department of Youth Affairs shall be comprised of four Divisions:

 

1          Projects Division

This Division will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of a number of specific national projects of the Department, such as:

 

task force on out-of-school young people

 

young people and employment promotion

 

youth talent

 

enterprise development

 

youth award scheme

 

2          Training and Resource Development Division

This Division will be responsible for supporting the training and development of workers with young people as well as relevant youth organisations. It services shall include:

 

information collation, production and distribution

 

training of workers with young people

 

fund raising

 

study tours and fellowships


access to CYP courses and other training programmes

 

youth exchanges

 

3          Coordination and Policy Division

This Division shall be responsible for the preparation, monitoring, and review of policy related to young people and the national coordination of youth services. Its main activities will include:

 

research into various aspects of youth affairs

 

policy design, monitoring and review

 

programme development and coordination

 

programme evaluations

 

support to the Botswana National Youth Council

 

liaison and public relations

 

youth participation and advocacy

 

4          District Youth Services Division

The District Youth Services Division will be responsible for the coordination and support of youth services at district level. This will include the following activities:

 

coordination and support of district youth officers

 

youth centres and facilities


 

Projects Division

Permenant Secretary

Director

Deputy Director



District Youth Services Division



 

Training and Resource Development Division


 

Coordination and Policy
Division



The function of this Division will be to plan and implement specific projects of the

 

 

 

 

Department.


The function of this
Division will be to
provide and
coordinate the
training and support
of workers with
young people.


The function of this Division will be to coordinate, review

and monitor all policies that relate

to young people.


The function of this
Division will be to
deliver youth
services to all
Districts through
District Youth
Officers.


 

APPENDIX  3

BOTSWANA NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL AND DISTRICT YOUTH COUNCILS

 

Botswana National Youth Council

The Botswana National Youth Council was established in 1974 and brings together NGOs and Government to plan, coordinate and implement programmes of significance to young people. The Council represents a vital mechanism for the planning and development of youth affairs.

 

A         Objectives of the Botswana National Youth Council

The Botswana National Youth Council has the following functions:

 

To advise government on all matters pertaining to youth activities in the non­government sector.

 

To guide, encourage and plan youth activities amongst the non-government sector.

 

To coordinate, by exchange of information and discussion the voluntary organisations working with or for youth.

 

To promote a channel through which organisations can be informed of government policy and programmes affecting youth.

 

To be non-sectarian and to avoid formal associations with any political party.

 

To provide advice to the Department of Youth Affairs on the allocation of funds for youth services to the non-government sector.

 

To administer a National Youth Development Fund which will be used to support young people's participation in education, cultural, enterprise, environmental and self-help activities.

 

B          Membership of the Botswana National Youth Council

Membership of the Council is to be open to any registered national youth non­government organisation and District Youth Councils providing services to young people in Botswana.


 

 

 

C         Structure of the Botswana National Youth Council

The General Assembly is the peak decision making body of the Council. Each member organisation can appoint two representatives to the General Assembly of the Council. Every two years the General Assembly appoints the Executive Committee which is made up of the following:

 

Chairperson

Vice Chairperson

Secretary General

Treasurer

four additional members

The Botswana National Youth Council shall report to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs twice a year.

 

It is proposed that the Council become more formally recognised as a autonomous organisation through a specific Act of Parliament. This would bring the status of the Council in line with other similar councils in neighbouring African countries (e.g. Malawi and Namibia).

 

District Youth Councils

District Youth Councils will be formed in every district of Botswana to provide the following functions:

To represent young women and men in their district.

To identify major youth concerns, needs and opportunities.

 

To identify projects that can be recommended for funding and support.

 

To promote collaboration and cooperation amongst youth organisations operating within the district.

To plan, develop and implement projects and programmes that are of benefit to local young people.

The membership of District Youth Councils will be drawn from the following:


NGOs operating within the district

workers with youth

youth clubs

young people


 

APPENDIX  4

 

BOTSWANA NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS FOR YOUTH AFFAIRS

 

'The following diagram provides an outline of the relationships between the Department of Youth Affairs, the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Youth Affairs, the Botswana National Youth Council and the District Councils.

 

 

Minister of Labour and Home Affairs

Permanent Secretary

 

DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AFFAIRS

                                                                            


DISTRICT YOUTH COUNCILS

 
INTER-MINISTERIAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON YOUTH AFFAIRS