ENTHUSIASTIC:Some of the young people attending the workshop

Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) together with First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) have brought together young people for an empowerment workshop which is being held at the University of Botswana Library Auditorium under the theme ‘Start Here, Start Now’.

This workshop is aimed at instilling a sense of awareness in the youth towards the development of themselves and the country since they make over 60% of the population.

It runs over a period of five days and discussions are composed of self awareness; career readiness; entrepreneurship; personal or business finance and networking, respectively.

One of the organisers, Thandiwe Majama (29), said the organisation arms the youth with skills of performance, survival and self-building for both the job market and entrepreneurship in this time of the 4th industrial revolution. 

“We put the attendants in a five-day bubble of equipping them with skills. In three months we check up on the attendees, because they need to update us on where they are on their goals,[that is] what they have achieved. And those who have or have taken some steps towards the things they committed to, then graduate from the programme. That’s the point, it shouldn’t just be for the five days.”

Majama boasted that she herself is a product of YALDA which is why she was able to put together such a workshop with a household name like FNBB.

She also gloated over the founding member of YALDA Laone Bukamu Hulela’s success who now is an Investment Officer for Africa50 and a graduate of Harvard Business School. 

The workshop was equally put together by the FNB Foundation funding through the Project Management Office and Information Governance which is headed by Omphile Sehurutshe. 

“The truth is if we want to get the maximum dividend out of this population [the youth], we’ve got to invest in them. We are not going to sit as a country nor a bank and wish that young people could be doing more for themselves and for the country if we’re not investing in them. It is not enough to say that we support the youth, we’ve got to show it in action.”

Sehurutshe proudly said that the FNBB and FNB Foundation are going to change the narrative from the normative promise to the youth as the future but rather model them as the present.

He said that it has been extremely long overdue that this tale has been reiterated to the youth so much that it has gone evidently stale. 

The workshop brought together young people from all walks of life, including 24-year-old Tshegofatso Kgosintwa, a Gaborone University College of  Law and Professional Studies graduate who finds pleasure in governance and is a stern Pan Africanist. 

“The workshop guided us towards the assessment of self as we are to get ready for the 4th industrial revolution. The question to ask was whether we are ready or not.”

Tomorrow the workshop will move onto its second discussion: Career readiness.

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