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Get ready for Prof Lumumba’s useful oratory

Having attracted two hundred and fifty participants in its inaugural event last year, the Career Elevation Seminar is hoping to double the number of participants this year. In a historic turn of events, the event organisers revealed that the second annual event this year will be headlined by Kenyan School of Law Chief Executive Officer, Professor PLO Lumumba.

The Career Elevation Seminar continues to be the only career event for ambitious professionals and organisations that are keen to develop talent in Botswana. This year’s theme, “Inspiring top talent to greater heights; rise into your destiny,” reflects their desire to inspire excellence in the workplace and they guarantee a great conferencing and networking experience in the industry.

The event organizer, Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Institute Mmoloki Mmolotsi said one of the greatest challenges within the modern workplace is the retention of premium talent in the increasingly competitive global economy which has moved power from employers to employees, turning talent into a seller’s market and making the workforce a core strategic concern for the c- suite. This means that companies are fierce competition for top- talent that will innovate and provide a customer- centric experience.

Mmolotsi says the Career Elevation Seminar inspires people to be superior leaders and achieve amazing results. “Transforming organisations into great enterprises is a process driven by the heart and the head”. The event should be attended by Directors, Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders. The second Career Elevation Seminar is billed for October 18th at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) and tickets are sold for P3, 500. 00 per delegate. “It gives your fast- rising employees and high- potential executives the momentum to significantly boost their performance. It also gives leading organisations the ability to attract, develop and retain premium talent in order to continue improve market position,” Mmolotsi.

Keynote Speaker, who is Prof Lumumba?

The Kenyan School of Law Chief Executive Officer Professor Lumumba is known as a leading thought leader and Pan- Africanist of our time. Intellectually fearless and a perennial visionary he is perhaps the foremost economic, social, environmental and political thinker in Africa today. He has delivered several powerful speeches which have attracted several thousands of views on YouTube alluding to or about African solutions to African problems across the globe and also remembered for his emotion laden and energetic speech at the third Anti- Corruption Convention in Uganda in 2013, The Tragedy of Africa.

Born July 17, 1962 in Kenya Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba served as the Director of Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission from September 2010 to August 2011 and is currently the Director of the Kenyan School of Laws since the year 2014. An eloquent lawyer, he holds a PhD in Laws of the sea from the University of Ghent in Belgium. He is also a staunch Pan- Africanist and has delivered several powerful speeches alluding to or about African solutions to African problems. He is one of the trustees and the Executive Director of African Institute of Leaders and Leadership.

He is the admirer of Patrice Lumumba and Thomas Sankara, the deceased revolutionary leaders of the DR Congo and the Burkina Faso, respectively. He is also remembered for his motion laden speech at the third Anti- Corruption Convention in Uganda in 2013, The Tragedy of Africa. He has referred to and quoted them several times in his speeches which have thousands views on YouTube. On August 28, 2015 the PAV Ansah Foundation invited him to speak at the 2015 PAVA Forum on Good Governance, Whither Africa? At the lecture, he expressed serious concern over how African leaders had allowed the energy crises to reach such a devastating stage. Lumumba encouraged African leaders to rise up to the challenge of changing the fortunes of the continent. In 2017 gave a moving speech to youths in Kenya on importance of making bold choices at the Fearless conference 2017.

“There are two ways to be at the dinner of civilization. Its either you are at the dinner or the waitress. Choose now”- Prof PLO Lumumba
Local speakers who will take centre stage at this year’s event include Dr Kopano Mpuang- Allmon, Executive Director at The Pacific Institute. Mpuang- Allmon is a captivating transformational speaker who has helped audiences around Botswana to create winning minds in the workplace. Her brilliant way of storytelling and orating as well as her uncanny ability makes complicated ideas easy to understand. She is a woman on a mission to help leaders, future leaders and organisations all over the country become the best they can be.

Another speaker is Thapelo Tsheole, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Stock Exchange. Tsheole is acknowledged as an authority on financial markets with an intuitive ability to make the complex simple. As one of the most inspirational leaders around, Tsheole is among the most sought after speakers in Botswana. In his usual provocative and entertaining sessions, he will discuss why behaviour and motivation are simple not enough hence professionals should develop and implement career road maps to outperformeand excel in the workplace. Other speakers include Deputy Executive Director, Botswana Accountancy College, Head of HR De Beers Malebogo Mpugwa and Regional Director Institute of Development Management (IDM) Richard Malikongwa.
Testimony  

“I attended the Career Elevation Seminar last year and left the conference feeling rejuvenated and with a wealth of knowledge. Attending this platform is the perfect way to stay ahead of the game as a professional and come up with proactive career plane,” Njalakangwa Modie IT Manager- Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board.      

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Media have a Role in Accelerating Harm Reduction Adoption

8th December 2022

African Scientists and Experts Call for the adoption of a Harm Reduction in approach in Public Health Strategies and Tobacco Control. Media have a critical role to play in accelerating Harm Reduction efforts by informing and sensitizing cigarette smokers on the availability and benefits of alternative, potentially lower risk products to cigarretes. Traditional cessation and smoking prevention norms are not the only ways that smokers who cannot or don’t’ want to quit can make healthier choices that cause less harm to themselves and those around them.

This was said during the 2nd Harm Reduction Exchange conference for African journalists held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 1st of December 2022. Speaking at the Harm Reduction Exchange Conference, Integra Africa Principal Dr. Tendai Mhizha emphasized the role that journalists and media houses should play in handling misinformation and disinformation in tobacco harm reduction discourse that is actually perpetuating the death and disease caused by people continuing to smoke combustible cigarettes. “There has been a lot of disinformation surrounding the topic of nicotine and the alleged negative effects that e-cigarettes have on public health.

This has led to policies that disfavour risk reduces products and narratives that completely deny their benefits. The media have the difficult responsibility to curb the scourge of disinformation and misinformation on harm reduction just like on other socio-political stances that are prescriptive and do not uphold consumers’ right to healthier lifestyle choices,” Dr Mhizha said.

The Harm Reduction Exchange cast a spotlight on alternative ways to reduce harm among tobacco smokers. Held under the theme Harm Reduction: Making a difference in Africa, the conference focused on the progress being made through harm reduction strategies in all fields related to public health such as drug and alcohol abuse, excessive sugar consumption, skin lightening and other addictive and behavioral practices. A wide array of harm reduction strategies and initiatives that are deployed towards reducing unnecessary deaths through non-communicable diseases were presented and discussed.

On his part, Prof. Abdoul Kassé, a world renowned and awarded Oncologist and a Professor of Surgery at the Cancer Institute in Senegal, said that Harm Reduction is a powerful public A Summary of the HR Exchange 30th November  1st December 2022 health tool that has the potential to reduce cancer by 30% and should be at the centre of all public health development strategies. Harm reduction, he said, has already benefited many people in public health and is the most viable alternative in tobacco control.

It applies to areas where there is a need to reduce the harm associated with a practice or consumption of a substance that is overused in society leading to increased morbidity and mortality. “Innovative Harm Reduction initiatives will help to keep more Africans alive. Tobacco Harm Reduction initiatives, including the use of popular e-cigarettes, nicotine patches and chewing gums, have continued to generate a lot of misunderstanding in both the public health community and in the media. However, there is evidence that the use of potentially less harmful alternatives than cigarettes for those who are not willing or cannot give up smoking with currently approved methods may be a solution, not necessarily the best for everyone but by far better than continuous smoking.

Where cessation repeatedly fails, switching to less harmful products is expected to result in benefits for many smokers,” Prof. Abdoul Kassé said. Similarly, views were expressed by Kenya’s Dr. Vivian Manyeki who said tobacco Harm Reduction has a solid scientific and medical basis, and it has a lot of promise as a public health measure to assist millions of smokers. “Many smokers are unable, or at least unwilling, to achieve cessation through complete nicotine and tobacco abstinence. They continue smoking despite the very real and obvious adverse health consequences and against the multiple public health campaigns. Conventional smoking cessation proposals should be complemented with alternative but more realistic options through Harm Reduction,” Dr. Manyeki said.

Tobacco Harm Reduction was introduced to mitigate the damage caused by cigarette smoking—the most dangerous form of tobacco use, and the leading cause of preventable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “Nicotine has an addictive potential but plays a minor role in smoking-related morbidity and mortality. Across the world, there is growing interest among experts in novel approaches towards tobacco control and there is an ongoing discussion that reducing the negative effects of smoking can be also achieved by tobacco harm reduction,” Dr. Kgosi Letlape, an ophthalmologist and President of Africa Medical Association and the president of the Association of Medical Councils of Africa, said.

Tobacco cessation is a key factor in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Abstinence from tobacco smoking is one of the primary goals for health promotion and management globally but it is unachievable in a huge amount of cases. This task remains unaccomplished despite extensive public campaigns on the health dangers of tobacco smoking. Thus, the development of novel strategies to reduce smoking is imperative. Moreover, the use of innovations in smoking products has been currently adopted by several smokers to reduce the health risks of smoking.

“The Harm Reduction approach prevents drug-related deaths and overdose fatalities and is the only way out for addicts. In the same way these alternative technologies can reduce tobacco harm and accelerate the journey to a smoke-free world as they reduce exposure to toxicants,” Bernice Apondi, A Policy Manager at Voices of Community Action and Leadership Kenya (VOCAL-Kenya), said.

During the Harm Reduction Exchange, journalists drawn from Southern, West and East African countries, including: Nigeria, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Eswatini, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe debated and set forth several resolutions in regards to the present and future as well as the challenges and progress made in Harm Reduction,and science-led regulation.

The Harm Reduction Exchange brought together high-level policy makers, physicians, scientists and health policy experts with media stakeholders from Africa in a lively mix of speeches, presentations, and panel discussions. The key note speakers included Prof Abdoul Aziz Kasse, Ms Bernice Opondi, Joseph Magero, Jonathan Fell, Chimwemwe Ngoma, Clive Bates, Dr. Kgosi Letlape, Dr. Vivian Manyeki and Dr. Tendai Mhizha.

 

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Over 2 000 civil servants interdicted

6th December 2022

Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.

According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reaching WeekendPost shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.

In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.

This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publication’s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, “as you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,” she said.

She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.

Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.

Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.

Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.

“It is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,” he told WeekendPost, adding that “when a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolved”.

Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.

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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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