Botswana’s candidate for the Chairmanship of African Union, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has revealed that President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama has approved a second budget to allow her to cavass support for the position in the January 2017 re-run.
She said that she intends to stay put and run the full course in the African Union race.
Venson-Moitoi collected 23 votes instead of the required 35 while 28 members abstained. She revealed that she travelled to Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday to meet with regional cabinet and foreign affairs ministers to discuss her re-run. The Maputo trip is in preparation of the coming Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Swaziland scheduled for the end of August where she will seek to renew her mandate.
The elections were postponed to January 2017 because none of the three candidates could muster the required two thirds majority.
Venson-Moitoi further said that she will up her campaign at the Economic Community of West African Nations (ECOWAS) region, which formed a bulwark against her candidacy.
The Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister further said that a possibility that there will be another candidate is ever present and she will not be surprised, because she proceeded to Kigali after going through primary selections in the SADC region.
She said the next step is to seek an endorsement in Swaziland. She further said that she does not doubt President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama’s trust in her more so that he has even proceeded to order that a budget for her be drawn up for the anticipated second round.
“I don’t understand in what way the president has to show trust. I have gone to Kigali to run and came back and I’m still working as a minister. He hasn’t said get out of my office. That shows support and trust,” Moitoi said.
She however declined to reveal how she will reverse her fortunes in January because she does not: “trust the people who will read what you write.”
Said Venson-Moitoi: “I do have a plan; I do have ideas about what I should do, but I choose to play my cards close to my chest.”
She further said that the race for AU had multiple dynamics and her campaign was being told a lot of things. “First they didn’t want this and then they didn’t want that. We were being told Botswana doesn’t deserve this and that I am a good candidate and that doesn’t make sense.”
In a candid disclosure, Venson-Moitoi said that she came from Kigali a better person than before and has learned a lot. She continued that continental contests such as hers are not done in vain because there is always some experience to be gained.
She further revealed that she has come to realise that: “perceptions actually do count, personal contacts carry a certain weight and that endurance has its value in one’s own life which is why I will see this contest through.”
Regarding interminable speculation that South Africa is not supporting her standing, Venson-Moitoi said that she however believes their word of support and as far as she has seen; the South Africans have been displaying their support.
“They said they support us and I want to believe them. The report came from South Africa, they are on our side, they were with us in Kigali, they were campaigning with us at our meetings and I would want to believe that.”
She further said that while the ECOWAS region revolted against her candidacy, her campaign had done what was necessary, including sending a delegation of ministers to the region which nevertheless somersaulted on its pledge at the election.
Venson-Moitoi said that there was “something that happened” that they didn’t foresee. She further said that even some of those that they had formed close bonds with and sitting together side by side, still flipped at voting time, even asking the Botswana campaign how the abstain button is pressed.
She also said that by next week after her trip to Mozambique her campaign will have already grasped the drift of the race and the number of new aspirants.
African states argued that voting Venson-Moitoi will be tantamount to rewarding Botswana with the highest position in the African Union, while President Khama has never made any attempt to attend any of its summits.
Continental observers also viewed voting in Uganda’s former vice president, Dr. Specioza Kazibwe and Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister, Agapito Mokuy as amounting to justifying autocratic dictatorships in the continent.
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.