Germany supports Botswana in the field of vocational training, as this is a cornerstone for the country’s sustainable economic development ensuring healthy economic diversification and opening up better job opportunities for young people. The aim of the technical cooperation project “Strengthening employment-relevant vocational training” is to tackle one major obstacle to Botswana’s development – the lack of skilled workers – by promoting the establishment and consolidation of dual vocational training courses (approx. 380 trainees in 10 occupations). This project is also a pilot in attempts to gradually encourage better-off developing countries – Botswana is an upper middle income country – to fund German technical cooperation support (via GIZ IS) themselves, as 70% of the cost is met by Botswana (Government and Chamber of Mines). The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is making available 2.1 million euros to finance 12 development workers (up to the end of 2017).
The BMZ also supports the project “Skilled Workers for Africa” implemented via the German Engineering Federation (VDMA); this is a cooperation project with Orapa Training Centre (operated by the semi-state-owned diamond firm Debswana) aimed at modernising the training of mechatronic technicians.
Germany also supports Botswana via contributions to multilateral organisations active in the country, such as the EU, the World Bank, UNDP and the African Development Bank, and through its development cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The most important SADC activities in Botswana supported by Germany are a cross-border water resources management project and a programme for the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).
Up to 16 volunteers are currently in Botswana under the “weltwärts” programme, working in schools and kindergartens, and with orphans, children in need of protection and children with disabilities. In addition, the Senior Expert Service (SES) regularly sends volunteers to Botswana – skilled workers and managers who have retired or are taking a sabbatical. In 2017 the SES set up the “Weltdienst 30+” programme, enabling it to include in its register of experts not only retired people but also younger volunteers still active in their careers.