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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 18 of 2011

Today His Excellency the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama will be in Oodi as part of his personal commitment to the community service day initiative. Meanwhile Office of the President staff members will be participating in community service day activities in Thamaga, which will involve tree planting, donations to the needy, and community outreach about the offices services.

His Excellency returned yesterday from a highly productive three day tour of West Africa, which involved working visits to the capitals of Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia. In the spirit of African Union and South-South partnership, the common purpose of the visits was to promote greater cooperation, particularly with respect trade and investment, while sharing perspectives on bilateral and multilateral issues of common concern.
At each stopover, the President was hosted and held official talks with his fellow Presidents - H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria, H.E. Prof. John Atta Mills of Ghana and H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia - during which the leaders affirmed their shared, Pan-African, commitment to democracy and development through good governance.

Accompanying the President was the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon. Mokgweetsi Masisi, and senior officials.

As the tour coincided with H.H. the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe’s attendance at the 2011 SADC Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit in Angola, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, the Hon. Ponatshego Kedikilwe served as Acting President, while the President was away.  

On Tuesday morning, His Excellency departed aboard OK 1 for the first leg of his tour, to Abuja Nigeria, arriving at midday. There he held wide ranging official talks the Nigerian President Jonathan, which focused on ongoing efforts to increase economic cooperation in such areas as energy sector. They also discussed developments in North Africa and elsewhere.

From Abuja, the President flew to Accra, where on Wednesday he was hosted by his Ghanaian counterpart, President Mills. The two leaders agreed that Ghana and Botswana share a common values and challenges as nations committed to development and democracy through good governance. Sectors identified as having potential for greater bilateral cooperation included mining, agriculture, education and environmental issues.

Speaking to the press following the talks, the two Presidents agreed that there was a need for African leaders to respect their constitutions of their countries and not to overstay their terms of office, with the Ghanaian President observing that many political difficulties on the continent arose from an unhealthy desire of some to perpetuate their stay in power after their mandate had expired. They further lamented the current situation in which Africans seem to be more familiar with Europe and America than one another.

President Khama also paid special tribute to President Mills for his role in working for the restoration of peace, democracy and the rule of law in Cote d’Ivoire in the context of proactive efforts by the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), backed by the AU and UN, to ensure a handover of power to the 2010 Presidential election winner Alassane Ouattarra. Khama also announced that a Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation would be established between the two countries before the end of the year.

Late Wednesday, the President departed for Liberia, where he was welcomed at the airport by President Johnson Sirleaf who expressed her desire that her recently war torn country benefit from Botswana's good governance experience. In response President Khama confirmed that our country was prepared to assist in "whatever way we can to help you.”

During their talks the two Presidents further discussed areas of cooperation including the mining industry, where Botswana has agreed to assist Liberia in rebuilding its diamond sector.

As we go to press H.H. the Vice President and other leaders remain in closed session at this week’s SADC Summit in Luanda. The Summit has considered the Report of the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation on various regional political issues, as well as additional reports on Regional Economic Integration, the SADC Tribunal and financial and administrative matters. 
At the Summit the Vice President was joined by Hon. Phandu Skelemani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Kenneth Matambo, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, Minister of Trade and Industry and senior government officials.

In addition the Summit was also attended by Former President Festus Mogae who, in his role as Chairperson of Champions for an HIV/AIDS Free Generation addressed the gathering on strategies to further reduce the scourge of the virus within the region.

On Monday, the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration was the keynote Speaker at the launch of the Vision 2016 “Living the Vision 2016” education campaign. In his remarks the Minister Masisi expressed satisfaction that the campaign had incorporated sectors of society that had been previously left out, further observing that initiatives like the Poverty Eradication campaign and Presidential Housing Appeal were manifestations of realizing the Vision. 


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