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The Role of Political Parties in Botswana’s Democratic and Economic Development: An anatomy of Youth Leagues and Wings. Gobe Taziba UB School of Graduate.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Political Parties in Botswana’s Democratic and Economic Development: An anatomy of Youth Leagues and Wings. Gobe Taziba UB School of Graduate."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Political Parties in Botswana’s Democratic and Economic Development: An anatomy of Youth Leagues and Wings. Gobe Taziba UB School of Graduate Studies

2 Presentation Structure Dedication Reflective Questions Theoretical and Conceptual frame work State of the Youth in Botswana Youth leagues & wings Youth Leagues & Wings in Botswana Challenges of youth leagues in Botswana EFF Founding background Conclusion Recommendations

3 Dedication Gomolemo Motswaledi 1970-2014 (MHSRIP) A National Icon that has influenced greatly the level and rate of Youth political participation.

4 Reflective Questions? What is the role of Youth Leagues (YLs)? Are they important in Youth Development? Are they (YLs) serving their intended roles? What is the difference between YLs & YWs ? Are they (YLs) serving effectively? What can be done to advance their effectiveness and relevance?

5 Background The scope of this paper is to cross-examine the nature and necessary transformation of Political Party Youth wing and leagues in Botswana as viable possible avenues to advance and influence pro-youth policies, representation and social justice at large. Esp. as we interrogate today’s Topic: Are Diamonds there forever? – Prospects of a Sustainable Development Model for Botswana

6 Theoretical and Conceptual frame Work Harts ladder of participation Sustainable Development (SD) Model Survival of The fittest Theory

7 Harts Ladder of Participation by Roger Hart (1992)

8 Sustainable Development (SD) Model Popularized by the 1992 Rio de Janeiro United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Social Inclusion

9 Survival of The fittest Theory Coined by Herbert Spencer; after studying Charles Darwin’s principles of Biology in 1864. This theory justifies a hypothesis that; the fit as opposed to the unfit individuals will survive respective tests

10 State of the Youth in Botswana Constitute majority of the population High Unemployment Poverty Inadequate Leadership Development hence low participation in Decision Making Structures High prevalence of HIV/AIDS and associated diseases Weak Gender Empowerment & Equality Restricted access to Land and other means of Production plus Market Penetration (United Nations, 2011; African Union, 2009; Government of Botswana 1996, Government of Botswana, 2010).

11 Economic and Democratic Challenges Lack of alternative policy advocacy on; Employment, Land distribution policy. Willing buyer willing seller system First Pass The Post (Democratic System) E-Voting Low voter registration (Voter Apathy) Curriculum structuring and need for review Market penetration and structuring

12 Economic & Democratic Vulnerability Special Constable allowance decrease Tertiary Students Living allowance reduction National internship allowance cuts Delayed and sometime never allocated youth projects funding (Newel, 2013; VoiceReporter, 2013, Selatlhwa, 2013, Mphisa, 2011).

13 Youth Leagues (YLs) & Wings (YWs) Have been in existence as early as political consciousness Have transformed over years Navigate their parties into comparative entities Serve as Training ground for party leadership Advance primarily youth but also national matters within the mother party decision making process Enhance the party profile and performance especially among the youth voters


15 YLs& YWs in Botswana as early as the 1960s Every political party constitution mentions the establishment and functions of YLs and YWs However it is not every political parties that actually has these structures operational Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Marx Engels Lenin Stalin Movement (MELs)

16 Cont. Mainstream political parties; BCP, BDP, BNF, UDC & BMD are the only political movements with existing youth structures as instructed by the constitution BDP constitution refers to its youth structure as a ‘Youth Wing’, UDC recognizes them as a Department of Youth while BCP, BMD and BNF constitutions recognize their structures as ‘Youth Leagues’. Surprisingly section 8.7.2 of the BCP constitution reads “a youth wing of the party known as the Youth League”. Hence moving forward the term youth league and youth wing will be used interchangeably.

17 Cont. All the youth leagues have a similar Except BMD- ‘National Policy Director; However the duties define those of political office roles in the convectional structure All YLs subscribe to the African Union (AU) definition Youth which is any person below the age of 35years

18 Challenges of YLs & YWs in Botswana Paralyzed by server apathy to the point of being dysfunctional National conferences are not held regularly as per the constitutional, Statutory committee meetings are either not held, and when held they are illegal because those attending don’t form a quorum Lately BDPYW, BMDYL and BCPYL have not held their elective congresses Dysfunctional constituency and ward structures.

19 Cont. Lack of clearly defined autonomy and independence from mother party frustration, resignation and in some cases resignation of youth leaders mismatch between the constitution and mother party expectations EG. BNFYL Thamaga congress YL and Mother Party Battle. Mother party factional wars Financial vulnerability

20 Cont. Ceremonious/Decoration Representation in central committees Restricted to Non- Mainstream party activities Confined to cheerleading activities Failure to produce party leaders for party leadership Lack of training and qualified office holders

21 EFF Founding background A classic case-study of the structural and institutional obstacles holding back YLs ANCYL 23 rd National Congress resolutions (2008)

22 EFF Background cont.

23 Conclusion There is huge discrepancy between what YLs are doing and should be doing. This discrepancy is propelled by factors such as unclear legal standing, apathy, mother party factional wars and financial vulnerability of youth leaders. The structures are strategically poorly institutionalized limiting their role to cheerleading and singing in choirs

24 Recommendations Interparty Youth Platform Model Moving of YL into Mainstream party activity (strengthening their financial & structural capacity) Increased institutionalization and succession plans (Constitutional reforms) Capacity Building Financial Stability of Youth Leaders

25 Research Recommendations Improved Research and Documentation of YL activities.

26 Concluding Argument of the Paper As Botswana approaches Economic Development and Growth uncertainties, strong civil societies are fundamental to advance and protect policy interests of respective sectors. Accordingly it is fundamental for YLs and YWs in Botswana to introspect; redefine their mandate, focus and purpose as youth structures.

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