Fears of further unemployment cautioned in Botswana

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Speaking at a workshop on decent work, Professor Happy Siphambe of the University of Botswana has suggested that to create employment in Botswana will be to shift employment to the private sector.

In spite of good growth recorded in Botswana, the country still suffers high unemployment rate.

According to the Prof. Siphambe, Employment creation can be realized through fostering the expansion of a competitive industrial base, facilitating the creation of the service and small scale industries to support the competitive export sector.

The Economic Professor however expects the private sector to lead growth and investment, economic diversification and export growth. He said redundancy exists because the key sector driving development has less impact in terms of employment. Mining, he said, employs only three percent of the work force.

‘Unemployment is currently estimated at 17.6 percent which even though it declined from 21.5 percent for 1995/96, is still high. Unemployment decreased to 31.6 percent. The most affected are the youth, women and those with lower levels of education at the level of Junior Certificate’ The Professor said.

The University professor also observed that child labour which rocks Botswana may be made worse by HIV/AIDS, which has left many children orphaned or in the care of old grandmothers. He also warned about the growing informal sector, which is dominated by women; a sector that is being neglected from a policy point of view and has been subject to constant harassment and yet is an important source of livelihood for those who cannot secure jobs in the formal sector.

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