Office of the President (OP)
News/Press Releases
01.06.12
Heads of State and Government from ten African nations to meet with global leaders from the private and non-governmental sectors on May 24-25 Leaders to announce action-plan to design national growth strategies that place sustainability and natural capital at the center of economic planning and development 17 May 2012 (Gaborone, Botswana/Washington, DC. U.S.): – The Government of Botswana, in partnership with non-governmental organization Conservation International (CI), today announced the Inaugural Summit for Sustainability in Africa, a landmark effort to establish a new development roadmap and launch partnerships that will chart a path toward sustainable development on the continent. The results-driven Summit, a first of its kind in Africa, is poised to convene ten African governments as well as leading businesses and institutions to highlight principles and successful demonstrations for future economic development. The outcomes will be reflected in what organizers envision as a concluding Gaborone Declaration. Keynote speakers and featured participants who plan to attend the summit include the Heads of State and Government from the nations of Botswana, Rwanda, Liberia, Namibia and Mozambique. These visionary leaders will be joined by Ministers from Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and Norway and global leaders from the private and public sectors as well as civil society, including the World Bank, U.N. Environment Programme, U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, World Vision, MacArthur Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Walmart, Woolworths, and other key participants. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama said, “The importance of this Summit, and the urgent need for commitment to a roadmap ensuring the sustainability of Africa’s rich national capital cannot be overemphasized. With the expected high level participation of African leaders, representatives of big business, public financing institutions, and conservationists, I have no doubt that this historic Summit will chart a clear path for the African sustainability agenda.” Co-hosts of the summit include Conservation International co-founder, Chairman and CEO Peter Seligmann, Laurene Powell Jobs, Chair and Founder of Emerson Collective, and S. Robson Walton, Chairman of the Board, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. On Thursday morning May 24, the two-day event will begin with a welcoming address by His Excellency President Khama followed by plenary addresses by the participating heads of state including: • His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda • Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia • His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia • His Excellency Aires Ali, Prime Minister of Mozambique Designed to bring together African countries, their development partners and key stakeholders, the Summit will provide a forum for leaders to design strategies in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable economic development that is mutually beneficial to African nations and their investment partners. These participants believe the Earth and its natural resources are not just a factor in decision making, rather, part of the bedrock of economic development planning for human well being. “There are countless examples of nations sabotaging both their sustainability and security by inadequately valuing the contributions that ecosystems and biodiversity provide to the health and wealth of the people,” said Peter Seligmann, summit co-host and CEO of Conservation International. “But the great nations of Africa still have so much realized and potentially renewable natural wealth which is vital for the well being of their peoples. So now, more than ever, we need strategies and partnerships that will strengthen the resilience and availability of Africa’s natural capital – its watersheds, tropical forests, grasslands, fisheries, arable soil, biodiversity and pollinators – so that these goods and services are available to Africans and people everywhere in the future.” Identified in the United Nations Environment Programme’s 2010 TEEB for Business report (The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity) as a cornerstone of risk management planning, the term ‘natural capital’ is an economic metaphor for the limited stocks of physical and biological resources found on Earth, and of the limited capacity of ecosystems to provide ecosystem services. While still a relatively new concept, business, governments and multilateral organizations which understand the direct connections between healthy ecosystems and human well being are eager to develop new tools and strategies that will reduce risk and ensure flows from these natural assets. Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and a 2011 Nobel Laureate said, “Until now, we have not taken adequate account of our natural capital in our development planning, yet this is our great natural heritage, our gift and our responsibility to carefully manage for future generations. I am grateful to President Khama for convening such a diverse group of participants for these important discussions, as well as my peers and other esteemed leaders for their valuable support and participation. I fully believe that now is Africa’s moment - now is the time for us to consolidate our potential.” Laurene Powell Jobs, co-host of the Summit and founder and chair of Emerson Collective said, “We are approaching a crossroads in economic development between one path that leads toward traditional but unsustainable approaches to growth and production, versus a more holistic strategy which accounts for the critical role of Earth’s natural life support systems that are lifting people out of poverty, alleviating hunger and improving our quality of lives. It is at this crossroad that I believe we most need innovation and collaboration, which is why I am so optimistic about what changes this summit might inspire.” “Factoring the planet’s multi-trillion dollar ecosystem services into policy-making can help save cities and regional authorities money while boosting the local economy, enhancing quality of life, securing livelihoods and generating employment,” said Pavan Sukhdev, TEEB Study Leader and CEO of GIST Advisory who previously led the UN Environment Programme’s Green Economy Initiative. “The African leaders who gather at the Summit for Sustainability in Africa recognize that they must get ahead of the curve on key social and environmental issues by enhancing their national policy recognition and response to their natural capital. In doing this, they will be able to reduce ecological scarcities such as freshwater availability and soil fertility and develop economic growth trajectories that result in equitable benefits for their people.” To advance the Summit’s discussions and achieve actionable outcomes, a series of four panel discussions will address key questions and challenges, focusing on the following themes: (1) the relevance of natural capital management to development in Africa, along with existing challenges and opportunities; (2) the lens through which these challenges are being viewed and addressed in private sector partnerships with governments and the public sector; and (3) the knowledge, capacity and policy networks required to promote leadership and increase the momentum for change. “Not only do we care about protecting Africa’s environment, we hope to instill in its current and future business partners a core belief that our supply chains, customers, communities and shareholders will ultimately prosper if we reduce environmental risks to the continent by investing in Africa’s renewable natural capital. Whether we’re talking about population growth, climate change, or resource scarcities, the risks are real,” said Rob Walton, Chairman of Walmart Stores, Inc. and another co-host of the event. “This Summit represents an important opportunity for us to explore and forge new partnerships that will support African and non-African interests alike. I am honored to be a part of it.” The Summit’s emphasis on innovative public-private leaderships is part of a larger, global movement focusing on the value of ecosystem services and natural capital that enable food, climate, water, cultural, and health security as well as safeguard societies and supply chains. The Summit participants will discuss how best to value, account for and manage this renewable natural capital taking into account the impact it will have on long term development, poverty alleviation and economic prosperity in Africa and the world. The plenary addresses and panel discussions will be webcast live via streaming video online for global audiences to observe, and the summit is expected to conclude with leaders announcing support for the ideals and actions outlined in a Gaborone Declaration, which will collectively highlight the need for new commitments toward the sustainable management of Africa’s immense and globally important natural wealth. Leaders will then take these messages to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil in late June. Seligmann added, “In all my years of working in conservation and sustainable development, never before have I seen such an important moment or momentum as we are seeing right now in this Summit in the heart of Africa. I am humbled and inspired to have so many key leaders join us in designing this new pathway to progress and I look forward to the constructive dialogues which will follow.” ### Editor’s Notes: • Summit Website: http://www.conservation.org/ssa • Twitter: @HYPERLINK " https://twitter.com/"ConservationOrg & @BWGoHYPERLINK " https://twitter.com/"vernment Join the conversation with hashtag: #sustainafrica • Live webcast of the 2-day summit: http://www.asummitforsustainabilityinafrica.org • Photos: available for download and publication by media with provided credits: http://smu.gs/KdfyVw • Video Blog about the summit’s key goals from CI’s Frank Hawkins: http://bit.ly/KoA6fv • About the Government of the Republic of Botswana: www.gov.bw • About Conservation International (CI) - www.conservation.org For all press inquiries, please contact: For the Government of Botswana, Mable B. Bolele, Media Relations, Ministry of State President; mbbolele@gov.bw / (00267) 313 3048 For Conservation International: Kim McCabe, Vice President, News + Publicity; kmccabe@conservation.org / +1 (703) 341-2546 or mobile: +1-202-203-9927
16.05.12
The Permanent Secretary to the President is pleased to announce that His Excellency the President has made the following appointments of senior public officers: 1.Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi is promoted to the position of Permanent Secretary and transferred to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs. 2.Edmondt Moabi is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. 3.Lucky Moahi is transferred to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development as the Education Hub Coordinator. 4.Samuel Rathedi is transferred to the Ministry of Local Government as the Remote Area Development Coordinator. 5.Frazer Tlhoiwe is promoted to the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary and transferred to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. 6.Lorato Plaatjie is transferred to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology as Deputy Permanent Secretary. 7.Gaolebe Lekula is transferred to the Ministry of Transport and Communications as Deputy Permanent Secretary. 8.Jeff Siamisang is transferred to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture as Deputy Permanent Secretary. 9.Kago Ramokate is appointed on promotion to the post of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture. 10.Macheng Macheng is transferred to the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources as Deputy Permanent Secretary. 11.Sarah George is transferred to the Ministry of Lands and Housing as Deputy Permanent Secretary. 12.Letsholo Letsholo is promoted and appointed to the position of Deputy Auditor General. 13.Claude Mojafi is promoted and appointed to the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs. 14.Hazel Morakaladi is transferred to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as Director – Ministry Management. 15.Ian Tema is appointed District Commissioner in the Ministry of Local Government. 16.Nchidzi Mmolawa is promoted and appointed to the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. These promotions and transfers will effect immediately.
08.05.12
7 May 2012 (Gaborone, Botswana/Washington, DC U.S.): The Government of Botswana in partnership with Conservation International will host the first-ever Summit for Sustainability in Africa from 24 to 25 May 2012, to initiate a vital dialogue with African governments and other leading businesses and institutions about the opportunities, risks and rewards that will come with increased international investment and commitment to sustainable management of Africa’s rich and renewable natural capital – or the wealth of services provided to people by healthy ecosystems. The Summit is designed to provide a roadmap for African countries and their development partners to align in the pursuit of sustainability agendas in development planning. Much of Africa’s natural capital - its landscapes, watersheds, seascapes and biodiversity - is poised to become globally important in the production of energy, food, and numerous commodities, as the global population surges to nine billion in the next four decades. Vital to the long term viability and productivity of Africa’s natural capital however, will be integrated management that takes a long term and holistic view of the benefits and tradeoffs of intensified production and emphasizes the importance of resource renewability for access by future generations. A key focus of this Summit will therefore be to facilitate focused dialogue, guidance and coordinated support to leaders - both in Africa and abroad - which will serve as the foundation for strategies that seed long term economic growth, reduction in poverty, food and water security, resilience to climate stresses, and protection of the continent’s natural and cultural heritage. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama will be the keynote speaker. Other esteemed African leaders and visionaries expected to attend and address the Summit include: •Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia •His Excellency Paul Kagame, President, Rwanda •His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, President, Tanzania •His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, President, Gabon •His Excellency Aires Ali, Prime Minister, Mozambique It is expected that the Summit will highlight the importance of forging healthy sustainable economies that are built on policies and long-term economic plans that understand, account for, and value the wealth of nature in Africa. It is intended to be a results-driven gathering with African nations at the helm that will provide investment partners the opportunity to offer support in a deliberate and tangible way. The Summit is also expected to address key issues for the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Outcomes will be demonstrated through the adoption of the Gaborone Declaration: a declaration that will outline principles and points of engagement for actionable next steps in supporting sustainability in Africa. What:A Summit for Sustainability in Africa hosted by the Government of Botswana and Conservation International When:May 24, 2012 - May 25, 2012 Where:The Gaborone International Convention Centre Bonnington Farm, Molepolole Road, Gaborone, Botswana. Private Bag BR105, Gaborone, Botswana. Other esteemed speakers include Ministers from Norway, Ethiopia Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, and; •Sam Dryden, Director of Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation •Dr. Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations •Peter Kulielski, Group Management Board Member and CEO, Mining, ArcelorMittal •Rachel Kyte, Vice President, Sustainable Development, The World Bank •Barry F. Lowenkron, Vice President of International Programs, MacArthur Foundation •Grant Pattison, Chief Executive Officer, Massmart, South Africa •Jurgen Rigterink, Chief Investment Officer, FMO •Pavan Sukhdev, Chief Investment, FMO •Simon Susman, CEO, Woolworth’s Holding Limited Digital: Twitter: follow @ConservationOrg; hashtags: #sustainafrica, #SSA12 Live webstream: http://www.asummitforsustainabilityinafrica.org Summit Website: http://www.conservation.org/ssa Journalists Requesting Credentials: *ALL PRESS MUST BE APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF BOTSWANA OR CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL IN ORDER TO ATTEND THE SUMMIT. To apply for press access to attend the Summit, including press conferences, please register at: http://www.conservation.org/conferences/africa_sustainability_summit/Pages/ssa_gaborone_botswana.aspx - or email Jeannie Kim at Chris Wayne + Associates: jkim@cwassocs.com For all other press inquiries, please contact: For the Government of Botswana: Charmaine Muir-Revaka, Director, Media Relations, Ministry of State President; crevaka@gov.bw / (00267) 313 3048 For Conservation International: Kim McCabe, Senior Director, News Strategy & Media Relations, kmccabe@conservation.org / +1 (703) 341-2546
04.05.12
Gallup Organization’s report summarizing the African findings of their 2011 global survey of leadership ratings. Altogether the survey covers 142 jurisdictions, including the 34 sub-Saharan African Countries, whose findings are highlighted below. As reported in local Sunday Standard, this Office is pleased to confirm that the figures for Botswana show 81% approve, while only 19% disapprove, of H.E. the President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s overall performance as of the end of October 2011. The same survey recorded an overall 73% of Batswana as also approving of the country's overall leadership (as opposed to 81% for the leader himself). The Botswana Gallup Survey was conducted from the 15-29 October 2011, through face to face interviews in Setswana and English with a scientific sample of 1000. The survey, according to Gallup has a potential plus or minus error of 3.9%. The President’s and Country Leadership ratings are the highest among surveyed countries in the SADC region, as well as being well above both the African and global average... Read More
04.05.12
The Government of Botswana has taken note of the fact that since the end of the civil war in Angola in April 2002, over 470,000 Angolan refugees have voluntarily and safely returned to and reintegrated in their country of origin. Today, only some 130,000 Angolan refugees remain in exile, mainly in neighboring countries in Southern Africa. Further to the above, in light of the fundamental changes that have taken place in Angola since the end of the civil war, it is considered that those Angolan refugees remaining in exile who were granted refugee status on account of the civil war in Angola and/or the war of independence that preceded it should now be able to reclaim the national protection of their country of origin. Taking into further consideration the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Government of Botswana therefore hereby declares, pursuant to Article 1C(5) and (6) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (“1951 Convention”), Article I(4)(e) of the 1969 Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, and the Botswana’s Refugee (Control and Recognition) Act, that the refugee status of the Angolan refugees in Botswana who fled Angola as a result of the armed conflicts between 1961 and 2002 will cease as of 30 June 2012. In the meantime, the Government of Botswana will work closely with UNHCR to give effect to the cessation of refugee status for Angolan refugees in keeping with the relevant principles and procedures of international and national refugee law and in accordance with the terms of the Comprehensive Durable Solutions Strategy for the Angolan Refugee Situation. In particular, the Government of Botswana will collaborate closely with the Government of Angola, UNHCR and other relevant partners to proactively pursue all feasible measures to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of affected Angolan refugees to their home country in safety and dignity prior to the effective date of cessation of refugee status. The situation of those individuals whose refugee status will have ceased as of 30 June 2012, but for whom an alternative legal status or solution has not been secured in accordance with the terms of the Comprehensive Strategy, will be addressed in accordance with national immigration and other applicable laws. Notwithstanding this declaration, any asylum applications submitted by Angolan nationals still pending as of 30 June 2012 will be adjudicated in a fair and proper manner in keeping with applicable international and national refugee law principles law governing the determination of refugee status.
12.04.12
I note with concern the above article published online by your newspaper, in which you falsely report that: "Government officials from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Angola and Namibia reportedly met in Windhoek on Monday, where they agreed to allow the sale of rhino horn powder in clinics and pharmacies around the region." There has been no such meeting much less agreement among the above mentioned states. In this respect the Government of Botswana has already issued a press release denouncing the the content of said report, which to our knowledge first appeared on a mobile link to the TimesLive website in South Africa, authored by a certain Vladimir Mzaca. We have further reaffirmed our steadfast support for a total ban on the trade of any rhino products. It is a shame that your newspapr could publish such a false and potentially damaging report without first checking its validity with the appropriate authorities in the countries concerned. Dr. Jeff Ramsay Deputy Permanent Secretary for Government Communications Office of the President, Republic of Botswana Cell - 267-71318598
20.03.12
The Gaborone District Disaster Management Committee in collaboration with Unitrans Botswana (Pty) Limited held a simulation exercise on the 16th March 2012 from 1030 hours until 1215 Hours at BTV CIRCLE. The objectives of the exercise were to: 1. Audit the preparedness of the committee on Disaster Issues. 2. Gauge the core Departments responsive time in case a Disaster occurs. The exercise involved overturning a scrap tanker/ water bowser to simulate an actual fuel tanker. The Office of District Commissioner would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused. However, it’s believed that the lessons learnt from the exercise would help the various emergency response organizations in attending and addressing such emergencies in the future. The public is informed that there were no causalities. We would like to thank all the various stakeholders who participated in this important exercise. Our gratitude is also extended to all the motorists and the general public for their full cooperation during the simulation exercise.
07.03.12
The Office of the President wishes to further confirm that His Honour the Vice President, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe, will be in Mochudi on Thursday (08/03/2012), in order to brief residents at the Kgotla on Government policies and programmes. In this respect this Office wishes to dismiss mischievous rumours that the meeting will not go ahead. The meeting will be His Honour's first major public event in Kgatleng since he addressed the Vision 2016 Day festivities at Mmathubudukwane in September last year, which contrary to the insinuation that appeared in the Midweek Sun newspaper was in our view a great success.
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