The third edition of the annual CEDA\ DBSA University Challenge returns bigger and better with this year’s prize money has been increased from P200 000 to P300 000 for the competition winner.
Speaking during the 2019 launch on Wednesday, Head Marketing and Communications at CEDA Anno Tshipa said the CEDA\DBSA University challenge – a partnership of Citizen Empowerment Development Agency (CEDA) and the Development of Southern Africa (DBSA) – has proven the potential to diversify the economy.
She said the challenge enables youth entrepreneurs to implement their business ideas while they are still at the universities, adding that they found it fit to increase the prize money to fully capacitate youth entrepreneurship.
The Challenge calls upon the youth of Botswana, specifically those enrolled in institutions of higher learning accredited by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA), at all levels; Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, Masters Degrees or Doctoral Programmes to come up with implementable solutions to issues affecting the country in the areas of: Youth Employment, Employment Creation, Women Empowerment, and Poverty Eradication.
“The winner of this year will win P300 000 with an extra P50 0000 should be the winner be a female because the competition is also part of facilitating women empowerment. We have been evidencing a massive growth since the inception of the challenge back in 2017 and we are also aiming to have increased the prize money further as well in the next five years,” she said.
Although continually growing, the challenge has managed to stay true to its objectives and mandate of identifying typical and market-oriented solutions that have the potential to solve myriad of problems that besiege Botswana.
The 2019 edition theme ‘Botswana Unemployment’ according to Tshipa is aimed at identifying practical solutions to addressing challenges in Botswana, which include mobilising innovation enablers from all sectors and inspiring youth to deliver practical market-orientated solutions that support national priorities.
The 2018 competition winner Samuel Ntshiiwa has applauded CEDA for funding aspiring young entrepreneurs, saying that the competition comes with a series of opportunities for the young businesspersons as they are able to network and exchange their ideas before other financial financiers.
Ntshiiwa said progress has been made in setting up his fish farming project and is now only waiting for a license from the government. He encouraged the aspiring applicants to take the challenges more seriously and turn their dream ideas into reality.
New three tertiary institutions were added to the challenge being New Era College, MANCOSA and AFDA.
The CEDA\DBSA challenge is legacy project from the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions’ 3rd Joint CEO’s Forum that was held in Gaborone in 2017.