Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture
The Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, His Honour Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe last week officially opened the Gweta Community Library and Cultural Centre. This is what he said at the event which was also graced by the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Hon. Shaw Kgathi
The Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, His Honour Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe last week officially opened the Gweta Community Library and Cultural Centre. This is what he said at the event which was also graced by the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Hon. Shaw Kgathi
Kgosi ya Motse wa Gweta, Rraetsho and your colleagues; Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, and Member of Parliament for Bobirwa, Hon. Shaw Kgathi; Member of Parliament for Nata/Gweta Constituency, Mr. Ryner Makosha; Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture, Mr. Kago Ramokate; Deputy District Commissioner, Mr. Chilimba; Ag. Director of Botswana National Library Service and other Directors here present; Robert and Sara Rothschild Family Foundation Representatives, Mr. Robert and Mrs. Sara Rothschild; Sesigo Project Director, Dr. Sebusang Sebusang; Honorable Councilors here present; All Heads of Stations and Organizations represented here; ACHAP Representatives; Other development Partners and Sponsors; Members of the Press; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen; Good Morning! 1. It is an honour and a privilege for me to have been invited to speak to you on the occasion of the official opening of the Gweta Community Library and Cultural Centre. I am therefore, grateful for the opportunity to grace this very important event and to be a joint witness with you, of a development milestone that will change your lives forever. 2. Bagaetsho, In 2007 the Robert and Sara Rothschild Family Foundation of the United States of America, entered into a partnership agreement with the Botswana Government to build twenty libraries over a ten year period with two libraries built annually until 2016. 3. Gweta Community Library and Cultural Centre therefore, becomes the ninth library and comes after Mmankgodi, Kopong, Matlhako, Molalatau, Ramokgonami, Phitshane-Molopo, Moreomaoto, Shakawe, here in Gweta and Sebina. To the Rothschilds we are deeply indebted. 4. I also want to acknowledge the assistance that the Robert and Sara Rothschild Family Rothschild Foundation gets from fellow philanthropists from the United States and some of them have in the past joined us in momentous occasion such as this one. 5. Ladies and gentlemen, The modern library is an information resource centre and not only serves as a repository for books and information media, but also serves to link communities around the world. Libraries provide a link between the past, present and future as they provide information on culture, recreation, current affairs, and new skills and knowledge. 6. Our view as Government is that the modern Botswana library should offer more than just book lending services. They must be a center for all types of information particularly Government empowerment programmes. This will ensure easier access and increase uptake of Government programmes by the communities. The library must therefore be relevant to members of the communities they serve. 7. The opening of the Gweta Community Library and Cultural Centre will improve access to information for members of the community across all ages. The acquisition of knowledge and information in today’s era is the pivot through which developments efforts can be attained in any society. 8. Director of Ceremonies, The Government recognizes the critical role played donor agencies and the private sector in improving the provision of services to our people. It is on this basis that the Government of Botswana in 2008 partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to implement the now popularly known Sesigo Project. This is a computerization project to provide free public access to computers and the internet in the public libraries and Village Reading Rooms. 9. The introduction of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has transformed some the public libraries into modernized facilities that offer not only book based information but also multi-media formats and the internet. Since inception in 2008, 47 out of 78 public libraries offer free internet services and 24 public libraries offer just computer access. Sesigo has therefore ensured that information is availed to most Batswana irrespective of their geographic location, race, religion, gender and level of urbanization. 10. The Gweta Community library has computers and internet connectivity for public access. This makes the people of Gweta part of the global village. You can now access the same information that is used by people in Europe, America and the rest of the world from your village.
11. ICTs will transform different aspects of the socio-economic life of the people of Gweta and its environs. And I therefore, urge all of you to embrace this development infrastructure in order to derive its maximum benefit. 12. Let me point out that the recent national Junior Certificate results for the year 2013 are not pleasing at all. It is in this context that I urge both students and teachers to use this resourceful facility to improve their teaching and learning ability. 13. Aspiring youth entrepreneurs can use the internet to develop sound and winning proposals for the Youth Development Fund which has now become very competitive. The same encouragement goes to farmers, the business community and the people of Gweta in general. 14. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am informed that the Gweta community made some significant contributions towards this library which is a good indication of ownership that will ensure its sustainability. I also wish to note with appreciation, the remarkable contribution of the Library Committee which has been instrumental in all logistics relating to the construction and opening of this library. 15. Bagaetsho, before I conclude, let me reiterate that that the success of this library depends on the rate at which you use it. Considering the variety of educational, recreational, cultural and capacity building programmes to be offered by the library, it should be very active usage. I therefore urge the leadership and Community of Gweta to support the staff in their efforts to bring services to the people. 16. Finally, it is now my singular honour and pleasure to declare Gweta Community Library and Cultural Centre officially open and hand it over to Gweta communities. 17. Thank you for your kind attention! PULA! PULA! PULA!
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