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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 21 of 2011

President to receive Statesman of the Year Award

Welcome to another edition of your weekly window into events and issues involving the Presidency. This morning H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, will depart for the New York, where on Monday he is to deliver the Keynote Address at the Opening of the 10th Session of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is convened at the United Nations Headquarters.

On Sunday evening, His Excellency with further attend the Justice Gala 2011 Awards, where he is to receive the Justitia Award for Statesman of the Year from the Berlin based Cinema for Peace Foundation for his promotion of international justice and human rights. In their letter to the President, the Foundation states:

“We would like to congratulate you on your leadership in Africa transforming Botswana to a role model state that has freedom of speech, a low corruption rate and a vital economic growth. Especially, we want to express our respect for your achievements to promote justice on an international level. Through your efforts, you have taken a further step to bring your country to international leadership.”

The Cinema for Peace Foundation, currently chaired by actor Sean Penn, is driven by an International Committee whose membership combines a who’s who of Hollywood A-list and Noble Peace Prize Laureates, including: George Clooney, Catherine Deneuve, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bob Geldorf, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Ben Kingsley, Liza Minelli, Liam Neeson, Tim Robbins, Susan Saradon and Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with Mikhail Gorbachev, Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama. 

The President is scheduled to return next Tuesday.
Also this week the President officially opened of the new Kachikau-Ngoma Road and Nteletsa II Telecommunications Services in the Chobe District.
In his remarks, he observed that the construction of the 38 kilometre road, at a cost of P 193 million, will be a catalyst for the emerging tourist industry in the Chobe Enclave, while the soon to be completed rollout of Nteletsa II infrastructure will deliver online ICT services to all gazetted villages in the District.

Last Saturday His Honour the Vice President, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe, was the keynote speaker at this year’s UN Day for People with Disabilities, which was held at Kasane. In his remarks, His Honour noted that two years ago Government made the decision to establish the Office of National Coordinator of Persons with Disabilities with a clear mandate to ensure the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at empowering Persons with Disabilities on a sustainable basis.

He further reported that Government has completed the Disability Policy Review, which addresses such emerging issues as unemployment, poverty, HIV and AIDS pandemic, skills development, legal protection and social protection and security.

A further highlight of Saturday’s programme was the bestowing of the annual Disability Awards by the Botswana Council for the Disabled. This year’s awards included 11 recipients for achievements in categories ranging from the establishment of successful small businesses through the arts, sports and community service. Each recipient received a P 3000 as well as trophy. The awards were further sponsored by the MVA Fund, Motor Centre, BOMAID and the Department of Arts and Culture.
Tomorrow, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public, the Hon. Mokgweetsi Masisi, will be at Diphuduhudu, Kweneng, to engage the residents of the remote area community on issues of Poverty Eradication. Yesterday, he was the keynote speaker at the National Human Resources Conference, whose theme was “Leadership for Africa”

In his remarks at the conference, the Minister noted that Botswana was still grappling with the impact of the recent global recession, which has required all stakeholders to re-examine their human resource capacities. Citing the 2011 Global Competitiveness Report, he further conceded that of late Botswana’s global rating on the performance of its human capital has been disappointing, further contrasting such findings with the work ethic in the past.

“During the period of migrant labour, it was well known that Batswana labourers could be relied on as they were trustworthy and hard workers. This was applicable to both mine workers and corn-gatherers. Even during the World War II, the Botswana contingent was respected for hard work and commitment.”

On Monday the Minister was in Nxarago, where he opened a Kgotla shelter and Nteletsa II project.

Also this past week Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perception Index, which for the 16th year in a row ranked Botswana as being the least corrupt country in Africa, as well as among the least corrupt countries in the world. This Office is pleased to note that our country’s overall score (6.1) and ranking (32 out of 183 countries) have improved, placing us within in the top 20% of all surveyed nations, as well as above over half of the nations of Europe.
Finally, we note with sadness the untimely death of the founding Ombudsman of our Republic, Mr. Lethebe Amos Maine. Our prayers are with his family in their moment of trial and grief; may his soul rest in peace.



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