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

Welcome to your weekly window into the Presidency. Last week was ‘the week that was’ when His Excellency the President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama paid a State visit to South Africa and held substantive discussions with His Excellency President Jacob Zuma of South African. “My visit to South Africa is indeed a clear demonstration of the excellent relations that subsist between our two countries and as long as I am in office I will do my best to build upon them”, noted H.E. President Khama. “Your Excellency, Africa has made significant progress in terms of democratisation.  Botswana has been a good example of how good governance can contribute to economic development of the country.  Botswana’s democracy is a clear indication that the African Renaissance vision which we share so passionately is achievable” pointed out President Jacob Zuma, reinforcing further the world acclaimed view that Botswana is a beacon for democracy.

On Monday morning, President Khama met with the Japanese Ambassador. The discussions centred around the upcoming visit to Japan by His Excellency the President from the 15th to the 21st October 2010. Thereafter His Excellency the President attended the official opening of the three day Youth Pitso at GICC. The Youth Pitso discussed a wide range of youth issues largely on Youth Policies and Programmes, Youth and Leadership, Youth and Financial Management, Youth and alcoholism and drug abuse etc.

In the afternoon, President Khama attended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Internal Cooperation Fortnightly briefs. In this particular brief, the highlight was on international issues and updates, in order to respond promptly to safeguard Botswana’s international interests.

On Tuesday President Khama held Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism Ministerial briefs. The quarterly Ministerial briefing discussed among others, vacancy rates, budget utilization, service delivery, the Ministries’ senior officials’ local and international trips, Government initiatives to mention but a few.

Come Wednesday morning, President Khama travelled to Zambia and Tanzania for bilateral discussions with the Zambian and Tanzanian Heads of States to foster cooperation between these neibour states. His Excellency visited Zambia in the morning before proceeding to Tanzania in the afternoon. He returned home in the afternoon of the same day.

On Thursday President Khama was briefed by the Ministry of Lands and Housing. The presentation was on progress by same Ministry on their performance for 2nd Quarter (April to September 2010). The presentation also touched on the implementation of Government initiatives, land delivery, housing delivery and other key result areas.

In the afternoon, President Khama continued with his ‘meet the press’ initiatives having been interviewed by a number of local newspapers in the past. This time around he had a wide ranging interview with the Mirror newspaper.

On Friday he was treated to Ministerial briefs by the Ministry of Education. The brief interrogated key education policy issues that included: the relevance of our Education and Training given the ever changing economic demands; Access and equity in Education and Training; expansion of Junior Secondary schools; Reparation of burnt schools and structural defects; maintenance of facilities; financial management; human resources management; implementation of the Public Service Act and other issues.

Thereafter he held a meeting with Permanent Secretaries. The meeting afforded His Excellency the President an opportunity to interact with the Permanent Secretaries in discussing among others, impediments to Government’s delivery of services and strategies to improve Government service delivery.

On Tuesday, Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Hon Mokgweetsi Masisi delivered a key note address on the occasion of the national Productivity Convention held at Phakalane Golf estate. Hon Masisi impressed upon and encouraged participants with this thought provoking words:

“Director of Ceremonies, let me hasten to add that for institutions and organizations to remain resilient and buoyant, there must be a desire to change and embrace new ways of doing things. You simply cannot do more or differently using the same effort and techniques - change is an inevitable prerequisite for improvement. Classical examples of where such changes have worked effectively are in Japan and Singapore whose economies were transformed in a big way. In this regard, let me remind you that investors will not come to set up in a country where levels of productivity are very low as depicted in the recently launched Global Competitive Report where bad work ethics are identified as one of the major challenges when doing business in this country. I sincerely hope that all of us will play our part to ensure that this issue is addressed once and for all”.

In sum, Inside the Presidency would like to congratulate the Botswana Commonwealth Team that is representing the country in the ongoing Commonwealth Games. We would in particular like to mention our Golden Girl Amantle Montsho for not only winning the country’s first ever gold medal at the Commonwealth games, but as well for setting a new record for the games with a time of 50.10 seconds.  BGCIS   

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