The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) agree that the need for cooperation among them is urgent. UDC president Duma Boko told journalists at a media briefing on Friday that BCP President Dumelang Saleshando agrees that the matter must be dealt with urgently.
The gallant performance of the UDC has given those opposed to the ruling BDP that there is a chance for usurping power. The UDC is not planning to disband following the general elections and the party leaders insist that the party was not formed solely for the purpose of the eleventh Parliament.
The UDC Vice President (V.P) Ndaba Gaolathe stressed this week in an interview that the three opposition parties, Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) united under the UDC not for temporary purpose of the just ended general election, but because there was need to unite the opposition. Boko informed the media on Friday that they expect the BCP to take steps to join in at the right time.
“Even in our agreement it does not show that it was done specifically for the 2014 general elections. This is an evolution and like any evolution we get better with time,” pointed out Ndaba who doubles as the BMD President and a member of parliament for Gaborone Bonnington South.
The UDC was formed in 2013 at the influence of the Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) following a historic two months long public sector strike.
Meanwhile Duma Boko believes that the UDC would take opposition to victory in the next general elections expected in five years’ time. “The UDC is a political entity dually registered by the register of society. It will continue to grow with the support of its affiliate members,” Boko explained.
Boko is also the President of the BNF and a newly elected Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington North.
The UDC has seen both BNF and BMD win seventeen Parliamentary seats with BMD holding ten seats and the BNF seven. In total the UDC holds 115 Council seats around the country.
Khama congratulated Boko
Boko revealed that President Khama called him and congratulated him following the performance of the UDC in the just ended election cycle. He said the president has promised to work with the opposition in the interest of the public. He said Khama also promised to meet opposition Members of Parliament to engage them on national issues.
The UDC president also promised to work with President Khama to ensure that national ideals are pushed forward. Still on engagement with other leaders, Boko said he has received a message of congratulation from BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando who is also supportive of a united opposition going ahead of the 2019 elections. The UDC leader declared that he is a leftist by orientation and will never join the ruling BDP.
Opposition supports Nasha for Speaker
The main opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) are clear on their choice for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. Boko indicated that they have Margaret Nasha as Speaker and Abram Kesupile as her deputy.
“Parliament will be a battle of ideas not of blood and dust. We prefer that Madam Nasha becomes speaker and that her deputy is Kesupile. It is a realistic position. The understanding that the best two at to work is to give and take. Nasha is very experienced. We note her passion for the independence of parliament and we think we should assist her. She is very fair and firm. We think that is the type of speaker this parliament will need,” said Boko.
President Khama has taken Parliament and all political parties represented in Parliament to court over the process through which the election of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Vice President is conducted. He wants it to be done by show of hands while Parliamentary Standing Orders dictate that it be done through a secret ballot.
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.