Citizen economic empowerment in Botswana
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This paper attempts to clarify the concepts and principles of citizen economic empowerment. Empowerment has been at the centre of a shift in thinking about economic development as a response to the failure of modernisation and trickle down economics. To be empowered, it is important to be aware of one's own capabilities and creative energies. Empowerment is as much about taking charge of the process of making decisions, as it is about the achievement of empowerment goals. Government, therefore, should not impose empowerment from above, because empowerment has to be an objective the individual must strive to achieve. There is a difference between entitlements (hand-outs) and empowerment. International experience shows that entitlements create dependency. In discussing who needs to be empowered, the paper argues for the empowerment of those who are disempowered, including the disabled, children, the elderly, women, the poor, and the unemployed. Because education and training are fundamental to citizen economic empowerment, they should be reformed to promote creativity and competitiveness. Finally, the paper provides a definition and an operational strategy for achieving citizen economic empowerment in Botswana.