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

Our Stripes are showing
Welcome to your weekly window into the Presidency. The emotional highlight the past week was certainly Wednesday’s AFCON qualifier victory over Tunisia, which once more proved that, contrary to nature, Zebras can become apex predators.

H.E. the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama, along with former President Sir Ketumile Masire and other luminaries, including Miss World Africa Emma Wareus, joined the sold-out crowd at UB stadium in cheering on the men in AK blue to another convincing Group K triumph. Hours before the match, the latest global FIFA rankings had been released, ranking the Zebras 67 in the world, up a total of 38 places since last July.   

This weekend Gaborone will be hosting international excitement of a different kind with the arrival of regional Heads of State and Government for the Official Opening of the new SADC Headquarters.

In addition, the nation will be honoured to receive the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, H.H.  Xi Jinping, who will arrive in Botswana tomorrow for a two day Official Visit at the invitation of H.H. the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe. This follows His Honour’s visit to China in July of this year, where he championed Botswana investment opportunities at the Shanghai Expo.
Also this week
As anticipated in our previous edition, last Friday the President travelled to Katima Mulimo in the Caprivi Strip, at the invitation of his Namibian counterpart, H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba. There the two leaders were also joined by the Presidents of Zambia, H.E. Rupiah Banda, and Zimbabwe, H.E. Robert Mugabe, to witness the commissioning of the Caprivi Link Power Sub Station that will service all four nations.

In his remarks at the event, President Khama commended President Pohamba, and his Government for their visionary leadership in championing the project at considerable cost.

On Friday evening the President attended the annual fundraising dinner of the Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS), of which he is the patron. The event was addressed by former Mozambican President H.E. Joaquim Chissano who lauded the efforts of Government and NGOS like the KCS in ensuring that Botswana over the years had given priority to the conservation of its natural heritage and biodiversity.
On Saturday, His Excellency addressed members of his ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) at the launch its “Domi ke Yame” national recruitment campaign.

This past Monday morning, the President chaired Cabinet. Now that Parliament is in session Cabinet meets at least twice a week, on Wednesdays as well as Mondays. He also received briefings from the Ombudsman and Ministries of Defence, Justice and Security and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 

On Tuesday, His Excellency visited Rainbow international School in Gaborone West, where he addressed students on the importance of self-discipline in achieving one’s ambitions, expressing his own hope that:

“…each of you has by now seen the value of discipline in your own lives; that you have already experienced the first hand joy of instances where you succeeded, either in the classroom or elsewhere, because you pushed yourself, sacrificing short term comfort to make that extra effort.”
In his remarks the President further observed that besides being about what one can achieve for oneself, social discipline should also guide us in our consideration of others, adding that:
“Here let me say that in this country we ought to overcome the notion that traditional norms of respect are part of our past and not our future. Last month I visited Japan, a country whose technological development is second to none in the world. Yet in their everyday lives Japanese people of all walks of life interact with one another in accordance with their own timeless manners. Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of practicing our time honoured cultural norms based on our common humanity.”
During the visit His Excellency also reiterated his State of the Nation Address pledge to ensure that world class achievers, such as Commonwealth Gold Medallist Amantle Montsho and Emma Wareus are rewarded by Government with appropriate sponsorships of their choice.

Yesterday, the President spent the morning chairing an Economic Committee of Cabinet that was convened to receive the 21st Progress Report of the Cabinet Committee on Economy and Employment, which focused on the progress of the Agriculture, Diamond and Health Hubs.

The meeting was also updated on the Mmamabula Energy Project and progress reports by various Ministries toward achieving action items that form part of Botswana’s Excellence Strategy for sustainable economic diversification.

With respect to the Diamond Hub, it was noted that as of the end of September DTC Botswana sales stood at about 16.7 billion pula, up from about 12.7 billion pula for the entire 2009. Even more encouraging was the news that DTC sales to local cutting and polishing factories so far stood at roughly 2.8 billion pula for the year, as compared to 1.3 billion for the whole of last year.

Progress towards achieving the ambitious goals of the Botswana Excellence Strategy is also expected be at the top of the agenda at today’s meeting of the Botswana Economic Advisory Council (BEAC), whose biannual meetings are also chaired by the President.

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