“#BotswanaIWant” - Expanding spaces for participation of young people in National Vision 2036

20 July 2016
Investing in young people is one of the smartest investments a country can make.

Over 80, 000 young people shared their aspirations for Botswana in a series of Twitter meets.  The one hour long thematic tweet meets were hosted by the Presidential Task team on Vision 2036 over a week. Among other things young people asked for Botswana where young people are free from gender based violence, empowered with knowledge and skills to protect themselves and make informed decisions, they can realize their full potential and contribute to economic and social transformation.

How we did it

As part of the national vision development process, the team consulted the public through traditional methods such as Kgotla meetings, the press, seminars and invited submissions by individuals or organisations. The Kgotla is a traditional public meeting place especially in villages used to discuss issues of community interest. Many young people find the Kgotla not youth friendly and therefore did not participate in the initial consultation. UNFPA seized the opportunity to demonstrate the power of social media to engage young people in national development processes.  UNFPA conducted orientation for the task force on how to use Twitter. UNPA also developed Twitter posters, and radio adverts for the tweet meets.  This was informed by the successful tweet meet that was organized with the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in 2015, through UNFPA support. The tweet meets were advertised on UNFPA social media platforms, the popular government of Botswana Facebook page and, and shared with local universities.

 

Tweet meet statistics

80,000 impressions

4,205 profile visits

437 mentions

409 new followers

186 tweets

 

Opening up the space for youth participation

The discussions connected policy makers with young people and facilitated young people’s participation in the development process. The topics that were discussed by the youth during the tweet meets, based on the pillars of the Vision 2036 were; Governance and Security, Social Upliftment, Economy and Employment, and Sustainable Environment. The tweet meet discussions were guided by the following key questions;

•        What kind of Botswana do you want to see in 2036?

•        What kind of person should Motswana be in 2036?

•        To achieve this what should be done and by who?

The Presidential Task team was appointed by President Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama to develop the national Vision 2036. The 34 member Task Team only had two young people, 8 women and 26 men, representing the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations, Botswana Council for People with Disability, Faith Based Organisations and the media.