Botswana: Botswana National Library Services, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, has embarked on a three days Writers Capacity Building Workshop in Hukuntsi. The aim of the workshop is to create a platform whose objective is to capacitate, empower and groom young, upcoming and prospective writers with writing tips and skills.
In his opening remarks, Chief Librarian John Mmatli said the expectation to enable writers to produce quality works that will be of competitive value both in the local and international markets. He highlighted that book writing plays an important role in today’s high rate of unemployment and has become a lucrative source of self employment for the current generation.
The 2023 writers’ workshop makes its comeback after two years of being halted by the COVID 19 pandemic. Mmatli said that the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture is committed to growing the book industry in Botswana and had dispatched close to a million Pula’s in the previous financial year 2022/23 for the literary works grant to fund categories, including e-book production, e-resource, capacity building workshops, campaign events and readers and writers’ competitions.
Botswana National Library Services has managed to fund 21 applicants and promises to fund more.
Mmatli also said as Botswana National Library Services’ commitment to building local content and encouraging the ideology of cultivating a knowledge based economy in Botswana in the not so distant future, the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture plans to construct a fully fledged National Library of Botswana.
Furthermore, he states that BNLS anticipates significant growth in local content production owing to the numerous grants offered to the creative sector under the Ministry‘s newly established National Arts Council of Botswana (NACB).