Incoming President Mokgweetsi Masisi has admitted this week that the centre of attention is now shifting to him as President Lt Gen Ian Khama prepares to leave office at the end of March next year.
Masisi who will succeed Khama next year, told a Social Media and Cyber Security Symposium this week that, he has become a target of the media, including ‘fake news’ in the social media. “We have all suffered from fake news. I am such an example; it comes with the terrain I am in. I am even more targeted more than ever before,” he said. “More so that the era of President Khama is coming to close, the newsworthiness of that person, associated with the position [presidency] is increasingly going to shift to me.”
In less than five months from now, Khama will be heading home after accumulative 20 years in the presidency, first tenure as Vice President and later as president. Since his return from Tonota Congress, Khama has been in obscurity allowing heir to the throne, to enjoy the spotlight. Masisi won the BDP president in the July Congress to consolidate his power as undisputed successor after landslide victor over cabinet minister Nonofo Molefhi. Previously it was feared that his succession could be put in jeopardy by Molefhi’s victory, which could have given the latter the confidence to challenge for the party presidency in 2019.
Masisi revealed that he has been a victim of social media in which several accounts have been created in his name, and the person behind the creation engaged people claiming to be him. “We had to take some of them to task, some whom I know personally. Some even dared to challenge their right to have what they created, that is facebook account in my name,” he said. “I had to counsel myself and my family, even though it is not easy when you have a 12 year old daughter who sees this unacceptable behaviour.”
Masisi said the social media remain a powerful tool of influence despite the fact that it is not regulated. He highlighted factors such as Arab Spring as one event which was burgeoned by social media. The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in early 2011. But their purpose, relative success, and outcome remain hotly disputed in Arab countries, among foreign observers, and between world powers looking to cash in on the changing map of the Middle East.
The ensuing Arab Spring that led to overthrowing of some regimes saw countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen being thrown into an uncertain transition period, Syria and Libya were drawn into a civil conflict. Although Masisi has cautioned against the creation of fake accounts, to soil other people reputation, he was implicated in a controversial statement ahead of 2014 general elections when A leaked recording from BDP indoor meeting revealed Masisi boasting of the fake facebook accounts that party faithful have created to help spread the party’s propaganda.
"Mo social media re thibile, rea go oketsa. re ipitsa ka maina a eseng a rona. Re ta ipitsa bo Tom Mang Mang", Masisi said in the recording. The irony was that, a year later, Office of the President had to release a statement to distance the VP from a fake facebook account that was created in his name. Masisi has suggested that government would be forced to introduce some stringent cyber laws to deter against abuse and soiling of others’ reputation. He challenged lawyers both prosecutors and defence to prepare themselves for gruesome legal battles in future.
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.
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.
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.