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Ntuane admits UDC threat

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane has acknowledged the threat posed by the nascent opposition parties’ coalition.

Late last week, the country’s major opposition parties concluded an agreement to include the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) into the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) alliance. Negotiations finally included BCP, one of the three major opposition parties in the country into the UDC fold after the initial merger fumbled prior to the 2014 general elections.

Ntuane told the press this week that BDP is closely monitoring the developments and that it will be foolhardy of them to close their eyes to events, lest they find themselves hapless on the broadside. He further stated that the BDP is in dialogue over UDC’s final consolidation. “The fact of the matter is that as a political party you introspect in times like these to avoid being caught on the wrong side,” Ntuane stated.

He further continued: “We are observing this situation and we are talking as a party, we touch on these issues to determine what we do when things change shape.” He also hinted that BDP top brass addressed the UDC amalgamation in a recent party meeting.
“We talk about them to determine how we continue to win elections? We talk about them so as to determine how we are to retain power in 2019?”

“So, I can’t reveal how we are going to deal with them because when you prepare for a rival who is preparing for you too, you cannot have the liberty to reveal your plans,” he intoned: “But it is something that we are aware is happening.”
He also stated that, in the same breadth, BDP is aware of internal wrangling inside the coalition project.

“Like we always say, Botswana is a small country, some of us are relatives and some are friends while some share households but subscribing to different parties, people talk about these things. There is no such thing as a secret in Botswana and we are aware that there is trouble in paradise,” Ntuane alleged.

Ntuane further reiterated that his party is acclimatising to new changes in the country’s political landscape: “We are preparing and in due course party members concerned will be made aware how we are going to deal with the coming elections, if the new opposition project is to survive, since it has its own problems.”

He further summed up BDP resolve to retain state power: “A party exists for one thing; to rule, and even though opposition parties have lost since (19)65 and did not die away, they have existed with the hope that someday they will rule.” He further observed: “A ruling party exists to rule forever, so if it becomes apparent to you that competitors are reorganising, you also prepare with twice the strength.”

The amalgamation of UDC, unveiled the past Friday, means that Botswana’s opposition parties will battle in a united front to unseat the ruling party in the coming 2019 general elections. However, as far back as mid 2016, a prominent UDC insider had told this publication that the junior partner, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) had made demands for more constituencies. The new entrant, BCP has been allocated 17 seats while the BNF got 22, BMD 14 and BPP 5.

The parties will still trade under the unitary moniker ‘UDC’ and will contest all the upcoming elections as one symbol, adopting the royal blue colour as their identity. These movements of the left will retain the Social Democratic Program as their clarion call.
As the UDC president, Boko shall head the National Executive Committee (NEC) flanked by two Vice Presidents; one from Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and the other from Botswana Congress Party (BCP).

Currently BMD is lead by Ndaba Gaolathe and BCP is under the leadership of Dumelang Saleshando. The two are Boko’s VPs at UDC level. The combined opposition popular vote, casted in the last 2014 general elections stands at 53.55% while BDP has a share of 46.45%. Botswana is governed through majority rule of First Past the Post electoral system.

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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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