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Visible Barriers to Economic Empowerment: Lessons from San Wood Carvers of Botswana

Author(s): Rebecca Nthogo Lekoko (University of Botswana, Botswana), Andy Chebanne (University of Botswana, Botswana), Maitseo Bolaane (University of Botswana, Botswana) and Tumelo Matlhongwane (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 14
EISBN13: 9781466688674


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This chapter presents some barriers to grassroots empowerment; namely, when government prescriptive approaches take precedence over the felt needs of those to be empowered; empowerment projects are likely to fail. This chapter demonstrates that poverty reduction strategies left to the decisions of the government promote the use of one-size-fit-all approaches that cannot work for all. Empowerment is possible only to the extent that strategies and priorities are tailored to clients' needs. These needs can be effectively addressed when the grassroots work in close partnership with development partners in defining suitable projects and support systems. The model of empowerment presented in this chapter recognizes that welfare approach becomes more distasteful when people who can rely on their natural talents like the Serowe Wood Carvers are denied support to use these talents and hence forced to depend on the welfare schemes.

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