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Inside the Presidency-Issue No 22
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 22

Welcome to your weekly window into the Presidency. The week was a memorable and eventful one for the President and the country at large, characterized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State congregating in Gaborone for the official opening of the SADC House and as well by the Chinese Vice President Mr. Xi Jingping’s historic visit to Botswana.

In a speech he delivered at the official opening of the SADC House, President Khama noted that “We should remind ourselves that this building is not only owned by Governments, but also the citizens of SADC as is the organization. Like the trees we will be planting this morning, may SADC continue to grow and deliver on the expectations of the people of our nations enshrined in development with good governance and democracy leading to a life of peace and prosperity. This is also an occasion to re-dedicate ourselves to the purpose and goals of our Organisation as we chart a common future for all our citizens as we work towards a region free of poverty, disease and internal political conflicts”.

At the core of the Presidents message as noted above was for SADC to deliver to the expectations of its citizens. Improving the lives of citizens has always been the hallmark of the Khama Presidency since he took office. This is evidenced in practice by his usual walkabouts which have taken him to all the four corners of the Country in his bid to better understand the needs of his people. The walkabouts have afforded President Khama the opportunity to get first hand information on the challenges people face and thus craft policies and programmes that are informed by firsthand account of the citizenry challenges. Amongst the SADC leaders who attended the official opening ceremony were Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

On Monday 22 November 2010, the Chinese Vice President Mr. Xi Jingping paid a Courtesy call on His Excellency the President during the Vice President’ historic visit to Botswana. The visit symbolized good relations between the two countries over the years. His Excellency the President took the opportunity to thank the Chinese Government for its support to Botswana’s socio-economic developments.  The Chinese Government has provided loans and grants to Botswana for a number of projects. The Vice President thanked Botswana for the good relations between the two countries. He also conveyed the Chinese people and Government’s appreciation to Botswana’s recent donation to China in the wake of flood disaster that claimed lives in china.

Vice President Xi Jingping was hosted by Botswana’s Vice President Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe. At the luncheon for Vice President Xi Jingping, Vice President Lt Gen Merafhe noted as follows: “I am pleased to note from our discussions this morning that, Botswana and China remain committed to maintaining a strong and common vision of promoting and nurturing our bilateral relations. While I appreciate the fact that bilateral cooperation between our two countries remains excellent, I believe there is scope for enhanced collaboration for the mutual benefit of our countries and peoples”.

After Vice President Xi Jingping’s courtesy call, President Khama held his quarterly Ministerial briefing with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, followed by a meeting with some Bakgatla elders who briefed him about the recent developments in Mochudi. On Tuesday HE held a Ministerial Brief with the Ministry of Local Government.                                         

On Wednesday, HE attended weekly cabinet meeting before he toured the Serowe North East constituency to address Kgotla Meetings. The Kgotla Meetings started at Majwanaadipitse at 1430 hrs and thereafter proceeded to Serowe where there was an evening event. On Thursday, still in the Serowe North East constituency, HE addressed Kgotla meetings at Gojwane and Moreomabele. 

Friday morning, HE attended the Brand Botswana Launch at the ‘peoples’ Gaborone Bus Rank. The idea behind the launch was to give Batswana a clear understanding of what the national identity programme aims to achieve, how they can contribute to its success and to educate the public on some of the elements of Brand Botswana such as the logo and the tagline. Thereafter, His Excellency received quarterly Ministerial briefing from the Ministry of Information Science and Technology, concluding the week that was. BGCIS