Founding member of AIESEC Botswana Dumelang Saleshando has challenged the youth to understand the tomorrow that they want today to have a clear vision that will enable them to achieve their goals. He was giving a motivational talk to the youth at the third annual youth to business forum hosted by AIESEC in Gaborone on Friday.
He said they should picture a Botswana with low levels of unemployment, a Botswana where someone succeeds because of merit and not because they are related to someone else. According to him, the youth are currently not conditioned to compete with other young people around the world. “You should get out from the mind-set that you are only competing with people in your class or in the next class, because you will realise that there are far much better things that other young people are doing in other parts of the world,” he said.
Saleshando said in comparison to other countries in the continent Botswana has done well, but when compared to other countries like Singapore and Finland who started the same way it becomes clear that nothing has been achieved yet in the country. He compared Botswana to Singapore, which he said since 1965 when it got its independence, it got from underdeveloped country to first economy. “They do not have natural resources the way we do but right now in terms of the education system they have one of the best in the world, which shows that it is very possible if you dream big,” he added. He challenged the young people to ask themselves how they can catapult to the next level as a nation and what other countries are doing that is unique.
He advised them to understand that there is no natural swing to success but hours of hard work are the ones that pay. He said the education system in the country is also the one that leads to less excellence because teachers’ works long hours as compared to successful countries in the world and the class capacity is too much. Dhiren Govender who is the president of AIESEC South Africa praised it as a very good international programme where youths around the world share their issues. He said that for the year 2014 only he has travelled to seven countries, an opportunity that not many young people can have. Though formed in 1948, it only came to Botswana in 1993, and only three universities are part of the program which is University of Botswana, Limkokwing University and Baisago University. One of the speakers at the forum Bakang Palai of Khumo Properties encouraged young people to be very innovative, and also understand that when they are fresh from university they do not have any experience. He advised that it is better for them to do volunteer work in big organisations when they are still in universities in order to learn. “When I was doing my second year I applied to work for free at BDC, and I am proud to say they built my career,” he said. The incoming AIESEC president for Botswana next year Gorata Motlhagodi said they have seen the need to hold a forum like this annually in order to bridge the gap between corporate leaders and young people.