22nd July 2024

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22nd July 2024

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Lesotho govt partners UN in tackling unemployment

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Lesotho’s gender and youth ministry is collaborating with the United Nations in its attempt to end high unemployment.

The parties have conjured up a plan to host a groundbreaking initiative dubbed the Prime Minister’s Initiative for Youth Empowerment SEBABATSO from 25 to 27 October 2023 at Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru.

The conference is being preceded by a bootcamp currently running at the same venue. It started on Saturday and ends on Tuesday.

Among others, the initiative’s objectives include establishing a national platform for youth entrepreneurs to exhibit their ventures in the presence of top officials and empowering youth innovators, especially those in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), to propose community-centered solutions.

According to a joint statement by the government, UN in Lesotho “the initiative seeks to address the alarming youth unemployment rates in the country, which are amongst the highest in the world.”

The statement adds that “this is a visionary approach proposed by the Prime Minister to overcome the economic hurdles faced by young entrepreneurs. The central focus is to promote and expedite the growth of innovative youth-driven businesses and prepare them for national and international investment opportunities.”

In June 2021, the World Bank Group revealed that nearly 29% of adolescents and 44% of young adults in Lesotho were neither in employment, education, nor training. Therefore, the SEBABATSO initiative is expected to be the solution to the problem as it emphasises the potential of STEAM fields.

Moreover, the low representation of women in STEAM fields in Lesotho remains a pressing concern. With countries like Ghana and Rwanda reaping the benefits of prioritising STEAM and technology for economic growth, this Initiative is an ambitious attempt to emulate such successes in Lesotho.

The conference will be attended by the participating youth entrepreneurs, Lesotho Prime Minister Sam Matekane, ministers, senior government officials, UN agencies’ representatives, development partners, private sector organisations, civil society, academia, youths and women groups as well as people living with disabilities.

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Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
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