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Inside the Presidency-Issue No 1
15/06/10
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 1

In his 2009 Inauguration Address H.E. the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, linked our country's longstanding adherence to the principles of democracy and freedom to the need for greater accountability at all levels of Government. In this context, the Office of the President recognizes its own obligation for improved transparency in communicating to its customers - you the public.


We are therefore introducing a new Friday feature "Inside the Presidency", which will provide readers with a diary of some of the key activities and issues that engaged the President and those around him during the week.


The President's activities this week included briefings by the Ministries of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs (MMEWR) and Transport and Communications (MTC), addressing kgotla meetings in Otse and Mogobane, and meeting with members of the Sponsor a Child Trust, for which he has long served as a patron, as well as presiding over the usual Wednesday meeting of Cabinet.


This Week also witnessed the convening of the 2ND National Conference on
HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections and other Related Infectious Diseases, which was opened by H.H. the Vice President Mompatii Merafhe, along with the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon. Lesego Motsumi. In his opening address the Vice President noted that locally based research had contributed to an estimated 50% reduction in AIDS related deaths among Batswana.


Another key event on the President's calendar is today's convening of a meeting of Botswana Economic Advisory Council or BEAC. The Council, which is chaired by the President and meets twice a year, brings together prominent economists and policymakers from within and without Government to advise the President on strategic international and domestic business issues. We plan to bring you more details about this body in our next issue.


On Political Matters the President will also address a joint Star Rally of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party's Women's Wing and Gaborone Region today, which will be a lead in to this weekend's meeting of the party's National Council.


Focus on MMERW
In keeping with his commitment to the nation to ensure delivery, the President
receives quarterly briefings on the progress, challenges and proposed ways of
moving forward by all Government Ministries and Departments. These briefings, which are also attended by H.H. the Vice President, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, along with senior officials, are a key component in of the Presidency's efforts to ensure the close monitoring and coordination of projects and initiatives across government.


On Monday His Excellency thus met with the Hon. Minister Ponatshego Kedikilwe, along with senior officials of the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs.


Some of the projects and initiatives that were discussed during the meeting were progress on the installation of the prepaid water metering system, the consolidation of water authorities and other water sector reforms, standardization of electricity tariffs, and the refurbishment of the North-South Water Carrier.


The occasion also provided a welcome opportunity for the Minister to update the President on the flood situation currently afflicting the Chobe-Okavango watersheds.


During the meeting the President was pleased to note that 89% of the ministries projects have remained on schedule throughout the year, while there has been 100% implementation of projects. In the process the ministry has a sterling track record of spending within its budget allocation - recording a 98% expenditure record for the 2009-10 financial year, notwithstanding the need for it to take on additionalprojects during the period.


Despite this achievement the briefing focused in on the need to further improve its project coordination and monitoring. To address this need the Ministry will establish a dedicated project implementation unit. BGCIS

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