Stanbic Bank Botswana is committed towards making a more substantive contribution towards changing the Youth Employability narrative in Botswana. The Stanbic Bank Botswana AcceleR8 space, an incubator and co-working space, was officially launched to contribute towards this narrative on the 26th of November 2019, unveiled by the Honourable Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ms Peggy Serame. The Stanbic Bank Botswana AcceleR8 space is housed at Fairgrounds Mall Shop No. G26, and is now open to the public, giving local youth and entrepreneurs an opportunity to accelerate their growth journeys.
Said Stanbic Bank Botswana Chief Executive, Mr. Samuel Minta, “A crucial challenge for Botswana, and indeed across Africa, is the provision of sufficient economic livelihoods for our growing population, especially for younger people. Youth face an uncertain and volatile future. They are challenged in finding jobs with only 10% of 20,000 new graduates in Botswana annually finding formal employment; and the 30% daring to start enterprises, face a failure rate of over 70%. We strongly believe that our youth are our future, and we must invest in and work with them to create an ecosystem that moves youth unemployment to a single digit number. This benefits all in the long term, and only sustainable, collaborative, and co-created platforms will make a true impact here. This is about Stanbic Bank and our partners inspiring a future of impactful YOUTH for Business Ownership and Employable Skills.
The Bank’s overarching aspiration is to improve the lives of Batswana in line with its Business Strategy which includes the Youth Employability Agenda. The Bank aims to empower Botswana’s youth with the necessary motivation and infrastructure to help improve employability. This is yet another opportunity for the Bank to help build legacies and invest in youth employability and entrepreneurship, working with key partners and stakeholders across the public and private sector to realise this ambition.
This entails co-creating a sustainable solution on Youth Employability. Ultimately, this should contribute towards:
- Reducing youth unemployment;
- Increasing export diversification; and
- Driving Wealth Creation for the Youth.
It serves as a dynamic and fluid platform for youth to fuel innovation and ideation, as well as incubation for impactful businesses: a connected world to inspire youth’s next chapters, from talks and events to working groups, facilitated sessions, mentorship and coaching; and a curated space with training rooms, a boardroom, co-working spaces, and an event space. AcceleR8 is not, the Bank notes, a job / recruitment centre, a physical market place for sales, free office space or a loan application centre. Indeed, it serves no commercial gain for Stanbic Bank.
This initiative is part of Stanbic Bank’s Social Economic and Environmental (SEE) Value Driver, which seeks to ensure that Stanbic Bank sustainability is inextricably linked to the wellbeing and prosperity of the societies in which the Bank is privileged to operate. This also speaks to Stanbic Bank’s Strategic purpose that “Botswana is our home and we drive her growth.”
Concluded Mr. Minta, “The Bank is passionate about facilitating increased youth employability through collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders. Government’s ambitions as part of realising the road towards a knowledge-based economy and a truly prosperous Botswana, have been a guiding tool. Reference even His Excellency The President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi in his Inaugural address recently, wherein he noted that “The development of a knowledge based economy is dependent upon building synergies across the different sectors of our economy.” This calls for public and private sector to align, and for private sector businesses to seek collaboration over competition to put this National Vision above all else and play a meaningful part in making a difference. Across our business, our sector and our stakeholder network, we are working to leverage our collective strengths to move Botswana forward when it comes to our youth. We strongly believe that our youth are our future, and we must invest in and work with them to create an ecosystem of prosperity and progress.”