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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 4

On Saturday, 5 June 2010, His Excellency the President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama attended the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation fund raising dinner, whose proceeds will go towards the control and elimination of childhood cancer. The Foundation aims to transform the young lives of those afflicted with cancer.

His Excellency arrived in Cuba on Monday, 7 June 2010 where he was received by Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Vice Minister, Marco Rodriguez Costa.  President Khama’s programme started with the laying of a wreath at the bust of Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti. Thereafter, His Excellency held a meeting with his Cuban counterpart, President Raul Castro. Botswana and Cuba have enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations for more than 30 years. Accompanying Ministers of Health Dr John Seakgosing and Minister of Education and Skills Development Mrs. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi also had an opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to their respective Ministries. Among issues high on the agenda were challenges resulting from the global financial crisis, and to enlist further support from Cuba.

On Thursday, 10 June His Excellency left Cuba for Chicago USA to attend the Annual Conservation International Board of Directors’ meeting.  Conservation International is a nonprofit making organization whose mandate is to ensure empowerment of societies on responsible and sustainable conservation and preservation of nature. President Khama has been a member of Conservation International for over a decade.

His Excellency the President and his entourage are expected to return home on Sunday 13 June 2010.

Meanwhile at home, the Acting President Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe was on Tuesday 8 June 2010, amongst dignitaries and members of the public who thronged the decoration ceremony of Dr. Gaositwe Chiepe by the Japanese Ambassador to Botswana, Ryoichi Matsuyama.  The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun was conferred on Dr. Chiepe on behalf of His Majesty, the Emperor Akihito in recognition of her contribution to fostering bilateral relations between Botswana and Japan, both in her capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Mineral Resources and Water Affairs. She was also lauded for her significant advocacy role and support in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) initiative.  TICAD is an international forum for the development of Africa which started its engagement with the continent in 1993.

On Wednesday, 9 June 2010, the Acting President chaired the 19th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economy and Employment where he noted that the economy of Botswana has been able to weather the effects of the global financial crisis. The Acting President highlighted the fact that Botswana has started to benefit from commodity prices and increased demand for rough diamonds.  However, he cautioned that whilst the outlook is fairly positive, the broad stimulus budget which has played a part in the growth of the non-mining sector is not sustainable in the medium to long term.

The Acting President called on the Hubs and Ministries to work as a team to identify innovative strategies and aggressively pursue diversification initiatives and development of the Hubs as contained in the Botswana Excellence Strategy.



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