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Dikgosi move against north/south political rhetoric

Members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi this week moved swiftly to neutralize the north/south rhetoric threatening to divide the country when electing the leadership of the House.On their first day of the 4th sitting of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi following the country’s recent general elections which almost sliced and diced the country between north and the south which pundits say threaten to disturb the peace and stability known to Botswana, dikgosi clinched to unity. 

The elections saw most part of the South rooting for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC), Botswana Patriotic Party (BPF) and Alliance for Progressives winning patches of most constituencies in the north part of the country. To move away from such move, dikgosi this week counterbalanced their leadership during the election of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson on the opening day whereby they also took oath or affirmation of allegiance.

The Ntlo Ya Dikgosi Chairmanship contest was dominated by Southerners dikgosi being paramount Chiefs: Kgari Sechele of Bakwena; Tlokweng’s Puso Gaborone as well as Malope Gaseitsiwe II of the Bangwaketse. In the election, the members settled for Kgosi Gaborone with a whopping 16 votes’ against Malope’s 11 while Sechele trailed behind with 6 votes – out of the 34 cast.

Following the announcement of the results, Balete paramount Chief Mosadi Seboko stood up to persuade the house to nominate and vote for Kgosi Tshipe Tshipe of Mahalapye region who would later thrash Moeti Monyamane by 18 to 13 votes to secure the Vice Chairmanship position. Previously, both Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanship portfolios has been held by Puso Gaborone sand Malope Gaseitsiwe.

Speaking after his election, the new Chairperson of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi Gaborone said Batswana should lick old wounds and move forward. “We wish to work together to unite as a nation. Because we only have one country, one Botswana. So I pray for this leadership to find a common ground,” he stated.  He continued to point out that they wish dikgosi should be part of the much talked about constitutional review as there is need for it.

“As Ntlo Ya Dikgosi we want to make contribution on constitutional review and to ensure that bogosi becomes relevant. The government has stated its intention and it seems is committed to the review of the supreme law. The House embraces this exercise. We also wish to take part in the exercise. The review is crucial to modernize our laws to today’s standards and demands,” Gaborone added.

When advocating for changes in the constitution, the Chairman also added that there is need to rope in a Counsel and beef up security in the laws of the House of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi. “Some of the amendments include the inclusion of the Parliamentary Counsel in the rules of procedure as well as security in the Chambers,” he highlighted.  According to Gaborone, his new agenda is to enable House to amend the rules to enable the President Mokgweetsi Masisi to address the House annually.

“Part of the amendments include allowing special dignitaries or guests or visiting delegations, to allow this Honourable House,” he added. As part of his new agenda he also explained that they have Committees in Ntlo Ya Dikgosi which must resuscitated. A Political Analyst at the University of Botswana also observed and concurred that during the recent Ntlo Ya Dikgosi election you could see that there was an element of north/south divide which the members tried to counteract.

“The way they chose their Chair from South and their Vice Chair from north was calculative and I commend them,” he emphaised. He said Ntlo Ya Dikgosi is however just a toothless body with no powers since dikgosi moved to politics. “It’s so unfortunate that dikgosi decided to join politics. Then politics suppressed bogosi as their powers were taken. The power of dikgosi to allocate land was very key. It was taken to the Land boards and so they don’t have powers on land and many other things as they used to be,” he stated.

The academic also asserted that other tribes should be recognized. He continued: “it is clear that other tribes have been swallowed by the so called major tribes as prescribed in the constitution and this should be reviewed.” He stated that we need to acknowledge that when the country was established, bogosi was the backbone unlike now.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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