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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 15 of 2011
05/08/11

"Botswana-Mozambique Partner for Development"

Welcome once more to your weekly window into the Presidency. On Saturday His Excellency the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama returned from his successful State Visit to Mozambique, where he had gone at the invitation of his counterpart, H.E. President Armando Guebuza.

The visit culminated in the signing of a total of 10 Memorandum of Understanding with Mozambique for cooperation in such areas as transport, minerals and energy, control of cattle diseases, health, education and human resource development, taxation and the abolition of VISA requirements.

Mozambique will also establish a museum in our country honouring their founding father Samora Machel, who lived in Lobatse during the early 1960s.

With respect to transport both countries agreed to invest in projects that will enhance Botswana’s access to the Indian Ocean. For its part Mozambique announced plans to invest approximately P 2.5 billion to double capacity of the Port of Maputo. Both countries further confirmed their intention to construct of a new deep water port in Mozambique’s Techobanine region, which will be linked to Botswana, via Zimbabwe, by a railway and oil pipeline.

The upgraded facilities will allow Botswana to export up to 20 million tons of coal and other minerals through Mozambique, while receiving fuel and other imports. Both countries are further linked by our joint participation in the East Africa Undersea cable initiative, which will ensure enhanced international connectivity. 

In his remarks at a State Banquet in his honour, the President observed that the multiple visits that he and President Guebuza have made to each other’s countries over the past two years is a reflection of the strength of the bilateral relationship. His Excellency noted that since 2005 cooperation between the two countries has been broadened and deepened through the regular meetings of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation.

The President also noted that the Southern African region as a whole continues to experience political challenges, which should be addressed through concerted and collective efforts, adding that:

“Botswana is deeply concerned about the unconstitutional changes of government that still occur on our continent like in Madagascar, tarnishing Africa’s image in the international community.  Botswana is on record for its condemnation of these unfortunate developments and is committed to applying necessary measures to discourage this trend.”

Other Events

During the week His Excellency received quarterly progress briefings from the Ministries of Infrastructure, Science and Technology and Labour and Home Affairs. In the case of Infrastructure discussion focused on ongoing interventions with respect to delayed project, which remain an area of serious concern given Government’s commitment to delivery.

The President was also briefed on the progress of the campaign to curb alcohol abuse.  In addition he met with the new BOCCIM President, Mr. Alex Letlhogonolo Monchusi, and received a courtesy call from the reigning Miss Botswana, Ms. Karabo Sampson. 

Yesterday morning, His Excellency opened the new Ngoma Lodge in Chobe Enclave. The President noted the event was a milestone for local tourism as the Lodge is the product of a meaningful Joint Venture Partnership between a community based organization, the Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust and the Ngoma Management Company.

In other matters the President sent out an appeal for food aid to Somalia. He also consulted with the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Zambian President H.E Rupiah Banda, on the political situation in Malawi, which is expected to be taken up at the SADC Summit. 
 
Vice President and Acting President

While the President was in Mozambique, the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, the Hon. Johnny Swartz served as Acting President, as H.H. the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe has been away for a medical evaluation in South Africa. 

As Acting President, Hon. Swartz opened the annual Judicial Conference, which this year was held under the theme: Enhancing Access to Justice and service Delivery through Judicial Reforms".  In his remarks he noted that international institutions rate Botswana governance very high and the independence of the Judiciary is a yardstick used to measure our performance. He further observed that:

“We realize that this independence can be reinforced by the conditions which judicial officers operate under and generally by their competitive terms and conditions of service. Government is currently engaged in looking at the terms and conditions of service of magistrates and I can assure you that everything will be done to expedite the conclusion of this exercise. We did this with the full understanding and appreciation of the needs of the Judiciary in meeting the rising levels of litigation.”

The Acting President also took part in last Friday’s OP Community Service Day at Gakuto, where Office staff donated blankets to needy individuals and planted fruit trees and herbs at the Kgotla, School and local clinic.

Consumer Fair

This past week and coming weekend, the Office of the President has been participating in the annual Botswana Consumer Fair at Fairground Holdings. Departments and Units participating include Information and Broadcasting, National Disaster Management Office, Printing and Publishing Services, Appeals, People Living with Disabilities Coordination, and Government Communications E-Portal.  We hope to see some of you there.

 

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