Botswana to present AIDS Report to United Nations.
Finance Minister delivers 2010 Budget.
PHK hails emergency power plant
The Minister of Minerals, Energy & Water Resources Mr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe and the Permanent Secretary of that ministry Mr. Gabaake Gabaake lauded the emergency power plant which began operations on 8 January 2010. The Matsiloje power plant, which will help augment the country’s shortage in power supply, has 138 generators, produces 70MW (mega watts) and will only be used in cases of emergency during load shedding. Following the 100MW reduction in South Africa’s power supply to Botswana through Eskom, combined with general power shortage in the Southern African region, Botswana has a number of opportunities in the pipeline to augment its power supply to meet demand. These opportunities include an upcoming power plant in Orapa that is expected to be operational in June which will produce 90MW, preparations have started for the new 600MW Morupule B plant as well as agreements with neighbouring Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Botswana’s diplomatic ties with Australia deepen as it pledges its support for Australia’s bid for membership in the UN Security Council. This pronouncement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Mr. Phandu Skelemani, during a one day visit by his Australian counterpart Mr. Stephen Smith. The Messers discussed issues of national importance. Mr. Skelemani lauded Australia’s divers assistance to Botswana which ranges from fire-fighting, the preservation of natural resources, education agreements to funding the training of doctors to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. According to Mr. Skelemani, Australia’s involvement in peace-keeping missions and security issues around the world warranted support for its UN bid as it was in a position to better articulate and advise on such matters. On issues of regional and continental concern, Mr. Smith confirmed that the situation in Zimbabwe was discussed and possible ways in which Botswana and Australia might cooperate to deliver humanitarian and capacity building assistance were explored.
Botswana and India signed bilateral agreements on Agriculture and Education during the three (3) day visit by the Vice-President of India, His Honour Mohammed Hamid Ansari from 9 – 11 January 2010. The visit, which was at the invitation of His Honour the Vice President, Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe served to enhance well established diplomatic relations between the two nations which go as far back as the year of Botswana’s independence in 1966. The two countries have in the past signed numerous agreements in an effort to foster economic, socio-cultural and political ties.