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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No. 9 of 2012

Leave No Citizen Behind!

Welcome to another edition of your weekly window into events and issues involving the Presidency. Today H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama will be in Tonota to officially open a number of development projects in the Sub-District, including Rural Administration Centre, Library, Kgotla Shelter, Internal Roads, Infectious Disease Control Centres, District Housing and an Emergency Water Supply project.

On Saturday he is expected to be among the fans who will be attending the sold out Zebras versus Bafana Bafana FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the UB Stadium.

Affirmative Action in Diphuduhudu 

The highlight of the week has been the three-day Poverty Eradication Workshop at Diphuduhudu, which was officially opened by the President on Wednesday and will be closed today by H.H. the Vice President, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe.

Participants in the workshop include over one thousand current and potential beneficiaries of the Poverty Eradication Programme, drawn from all 67 of the country’s gazetted remote area settlements.

Also present are some 500 additional participants from concerned Government departments and community stakeholders. To accommodate the influx, a temporary tent city was erected at Diphuduhudu by the BDF.

At the workshop, participants have been engaged in a holistic training programme focused on inculcating basic life skills in production processes, marketing strategies, financial literacy and effective networking. 

The goal of this intensive training is to give programme beneficiaries the skills foundation they need to successfully start-up and grow micro-enterprises into sustainable sources livelihood and economic empowerment. 

In his opening remarks President Khama commended the training for its pragmatic approach in incorporating live demonstrations so as to better ensure a positive transformation of mindset.

He further observed that “through prudent management and further life skills training, the beneficiaries will be guided to upgrade their business from micro or small scale enterprises by seeking loans from CEDA, NDB or the commercial banks.”

The President also noted that similar workshops are now being planned for all districts in the country as part of the Phase Two rollout of Government’s Poverty Eradication strategy.

His Excellency also used the occasion to announce that Government has set a target is to have assisted a total of at least 13,000 beneficiaries by the end of the current financial year, which should translate into support for approximately 52,000 family members. This will be achieved by the rollout of alternative packages such as such as beekeeping, textiles, leather works, landscaping, food packaging, and agro processing, in addition to some 8000 backyard gardens.

To further support programme beneficiaries and other small scale citizen entrepreneurs, Khama also announced that Cabinet has directed that normal procurement regulations by both central government and local authorities should be waived for such producers, emphasising that procuring entities shall thus be expected to fully implement the Cabinet Directive.

The President concluded his remarks by introducing members of the Cabinet Sub-Committee for Poverty Eradication chaired by the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Honourable Mokgweetsi Masisi, which is further comprised of the Honourable Assistant Ministers of Finance and Development Planning, Dr. Gloria Somolekae; Local Government, Botlogile Tshireletso; Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse  and Education, Keletso Rakhudu, as well as Agriculture, Oreeditse Molebatsi (in absentia).

The Cabinet Sub-Committee, which meets regularly, is driving the programme with the support of an inter-ministerial task team of senior officials led by its coordinating Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, Dr. John Mothibi.

Besides being a milestone in the war against poverty the Diphuduhudu gathering is aligned with Government’s enhanced commitment to grass roots driven affirmative action for Remote Area Dwellers, in line with the stakeholder commitments that emerged from last year’s Remote Area Dweller Pitso in Ghanzi.

Government’s own commitment in this respect is reflected in the administrative elevation of the programme, which is now headed at Permanent Secretary level by Mr. Sam Rathedi, who was also introduced by His Excellency.

In line with leaving no citizen behind the President said that it was imperative that all citizens, whether they live in urban areas or the remotest settlements, enjoy dignified lives.

SADC Summit

Also among the highlights of the past week was the President’s attendance at Friday’s extraordinary SADC Summit in Luanda, Angola.  Among other issues, the Summit reiterated the need for full implementation of the Roadmap for ending the crisis in Madagascar, further mandating that a meeting be convened between Andry Rajoelina and ousted President Marc Ravalomanana in order to ensure an outcome that leads to free and fair elections.

The parties to the Global Peace Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe were also urged to finalise their constitution-making process and develop a mechanism for the full implementation of their country’s envisaged Roadmap to Elections.

The Summit also reiterated its support for the candidature of the South African Minister of Home Affairs for the position of the Chairperson of African Union Commission and supported to the candidature of Namibia to host the Green Climate Fund Secretariat

The SADC Council of Ministers, more especially the Ministers responsible for Finance and Investment, were also directed to expedite the process for the establishment of the SADC Development Fund in order to ensure adequate resources to fund regional infrastructure programmes in such areas as energy and transport.


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