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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No.6 of 2011

Building a better region through mutual respect

Today H.E. the President will be hosting an official reception for the Senior National Football Team, who returned to Botswana in triumph last Friday after successfully qualifying for the 2012 African cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament. The hard kicking Zebras have surprised the world by being the first team to qualify for AFON during a winning streak that has seen them advance 65 places in the FIFA rankings.

The highlight of the past week was the three day Official Visit to Botswana by the President of Malawi, Ngwazi Prof. Bingu Wa Mutharika.

President Mutharika arrived on Monday morning at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, where he was greeted by President Khama, H.H. the Acting Vice President, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, and other members of Cabinet and Dignitaries.

Following the arrival ceremony the two Presidents met together at the Office of the President before being joined by others for Official Talks on a range of bilateral and multilateral issues, which focused on areas of cooperation.

Thereafter, His Excellency hosted a State Luncheon for the visiting head of state, where he noted that that Botswana’s relations with Malawi are anchored on a foundation of mutual respect and common concerns, further stating that the two countries have collaborated in such areas as agriculture, medicine, law-enforcement, public service reforms, anti-corruption efforts. 

President Khama commended President Mutharika for the progress his country has made under his leadership, observing that his 2009 re-election was clear testimony of trust and confidence of the Malawian people.

Also praising Mutharika for his recent Chairing of the African Union, Khama observed:

“As we meet today, Africa is still plagued in some areas by conflicts which have far-reaching consequences such as loss of life, damage to infrastructure and property, creating a climate of insecurity that undermines peace and development.  These conflicts are a manifestation of a deficit of democracy and lack of respect for human rights and the will of the people” further noting that “The African Union should intensify its efforts to promote democracy and good governance on the continent lest it becomes irrelevant to the plight and aspirations of the African people.”

In response, President Mutharika observed that Botswana and Malawi shared common values as well as interests including their adherence to the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law.

The need for Africa to collectively uphold good governance was also emphasised by President Khama in a radio interview with BBC World Service, during which he strongly condemned the ongoing suffering being endured by the people of Libya and Cote D’Ivoire resulting from the unwillingness of leaders to respect the will of the people. His Excellency went on to endorse UN sanctioned efforts to protect the citizens in both countries.

On Tuesday, the two Presidents travelled to Lobatse for the official opening of the new state of the art Integrated Sports Facility. In his remarks for the occasion the Malawian President observed: “this stadium is not only beautiful. It also meets international standards. I must congratulate the people of Botswana for this impressive sports complex.” He further observed that sport brought people and nations together, while providing healthy outlet for people, more especially the youth.

On the same day, the Malawian President also visited the Diamond Trading Company (DTCB) with the Acting Vice President, who was pleased to share with his guest some insights into Botswana’s best practice lesson in mineral development.

During the week, His Honour also hosted both a Diamond Pitso and meeting of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association. Together the two events served to showcase the opportunities being created by Botswana’s steady emergence as a global diamond industry hub. At the Pitso, His Honour informed local and international delegates that Botswana’s vision is to build on past progress by

• Creating an enabling environment for efficient dealing in diamonds; • Developing opportunities for rough and polished trading; • Encouraging development of diamond jewellery manufacturing; and • Facilitating development of auxiliary services to serve the diamond industry.

Ongoing progress towards achieving this vision was evidenced by this week’s groundbreaking of the Pluczenik Diamond Polishing Facility, which the Acting Vice President observed was another important milestone for the country’s expanding diamond cutting and polishing industry.

On Thursday, the President and acting Vice President were in Maun for a joint meeting between Cabinet and the North West District Council as part of His Excellency’s initiative to facilitate cooperation between central and local Government by taking Cabinet to the Councils.

Over the past week this Office also received much positive feedback from last Friday’s Market Day at Gaborone Sports Grounds, which attracted large numbers of both sellers and consumers.

As His Excellency observed in his opening remarks that the Market Day initiative will be rolled out throughout the country and to become a regular event in localities in order to bring service providers, procuring agents, and entrepreneurs together.

The President further informed the opening crowd that government intended to assist 12,800 families over the next 12 months, adding that: “If all the said families are productive, there should be enough produce to sustain the Market Day initiative across the country.”



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