Reflections and Takeaways from the Community Parliament

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We were presently invited by PISA and its partners for a community parliament. What is a community parliament? Well from what I’ve seen, it is a social platform. A platform created to bring closer the citizens to the government.

The citizens make demands and/or raise their public concerns. Then those in authority give feedback in the form of reports on their progress or resolutions. This platform is a constructive way of bringing development efforts to life.

A lot happened. But in particular, let me focus on the youth. The youth were given a chance to interact with the ministers. You can readily think of representatives from GENDER, YOUTH, SPORTS AND RECREATION, SMALL BUSINESSES DEVELOPMENT, COOPERATIVES & MARKETING etc. It was quite an experience.

The exchange of information pertaining to many different issues was quite informative. Thoughts and ideas were aired by all stakeholders. Below are a few things that were visible throughout.

In a nutshell, the following highlights the concerns raised regarding the 2019/20 budget preparations.

On the creation of employment opportunities:

Well the representatives from the ministry of small business development, cooperatives and marketing argued that time no longer permits much government employments to be sought after. As opposed to being passive job-seekers, young people were urged to opt for creating own jobs.

It is the belief of the ministry that young people are capable job creators, who can in turn employ others. This alternative is sort after, since unemployment continues to escalate. And with yet many to be graduated, the future looks precarious. Unless youth become active job creators, it’s not hard to see what the future holds.

The ministry suggested that young people should bring to light their business ideas. In collaboration with institutions like BEDCO, Lesotho cooperative college, it is believed that market relevant training can be offered to the youngsters. The horn was blown and young people called to come forward with their inventions and innovations. Equally important, financial assistance has also been promised, with flexible terms.

Suggestions to the ministry regarding the 2019/20 budget were as follows:

The ministry was urged to include:

  1. Provision to increase support, training and financial subsidies to young people to start small businesses in order to create employment at a local level and to improve exposure to markets for the products from their businesses.
  2. Provision to support youth business development skill programs

What do I make of this? The future depends on the young. Young people should start seeing entrepreneurial adventures as attractive career options. Gone are those days when university completion translated into employment. Entrepreneurial hubs should be intensified. Businesses varied.

If we’re ever to have a chance in mitigating unemployment. Engagement in politics should be constructive. Books of accounts should equally be kept in order and missing funds accounted for. Unless the laws that govern this country are enforced and respected by all, there’s no promising future. Young people should participate in drawing up national budgets. Platforms need to be provided by the government.

Aspiring entrepreneurs should dare to bring forth what they have to offer. Transparency should be a non-negotiable regarding the government’s funding of small businesses.

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