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Botswana to be monitored via CCTV – SONA

Although some would view the use of CCTV surveillance in cities as a panacea to preventing crime or deterring it, there is a strong belief amongst many that its use is an intrusion with visions of Orwellian “Big Brother” invading personal privacy.

It is quite a norm that some commercial and semi-public establishments such as banks, malls, and stores use closed circuit TV to record who comes into their location, a certain percentage of the public is by now used to being on surveillance. Many governments across the world now employ CCTV technology to monitor their streets, with the hopes of detecting or deterring crime. Gaborone will soon join the list of controlled cities, according to President Lt Gen, Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

In his State of the Nation Address early this week, the President announced that the Botswana Police Service “is at an advanced stage in the process of introducing a Safer City programme in order to build capacities for policing the city of Gaborone by means of closed circuit television technology.”

Although no further information was shared with regards to the programme. The president assured that such a programme will address the efficiency of the response processes as well as speed up the investigation and detection of crime and it will be cascaded to other areas of need over time.

Botswana is in dire need of crime mitigation, as it is. Over the years, violent crime, including smash and grabs, muggings, armed robberies, home invasions have significantly increased.
CCTV technology has been employed the world over for crime control purposes. In South Africa, where the system costs the Joburg municipality R20 million a year, its installation in the mid 2000s in the Johannesburg CBD is said to have resulted to lessened crime activity in the area, in the past 14 years. The system also, according to online reports is instrumental in curbing corruption. Footage can be used to provide strong evidence of motorists who bribe police officers, the reports claim.

In 2012, Kenya also strategically placed cameras at its metropolis, Nairobi to beam the streets, in a Sh400 million project sponsored by the Nairobi Central Business District Association, police and the Nairobi City Council, Business Day reported.

In the US, the Department of Homeland Security distributes millions of dollars annually as grants for state and local agencies to invest in modern video surveillance technologies. New York alone already has close to a million CCTV cameras while Chicago plans to have a surveillance camera interconnected with a centralised monitory centre on every street corner by 2016. London is home to more than 1.85 million CCTV cameras strategically placed across the city.

However critics argue that the millions used to install CCTV should rather be channelled to street lighting, proper policing and mobilising police officers for easy patrolling. Recently, residents of Block 6 in Gaborone, whose crime statistics seemingly have shot through the roofs have called on to the city council to restore the street lights in that location. Police in Botswana are also unable to carry out patrols due to lack of patrol vehicles.

For some CCTV technology is a “quick fix” to crime busting.The UK, thugh regarded the world’s most watched city still experiences alarming cases of terrorism attacks, along with the US, which too has the largest number of cameras in almost its cities.

Marcus Kebaabetswe Oletile, a resident of Gaborone however believes that CCTV always plays the perfect snitch, as with video footage available, there wouldn’t be need for witnesses who are in most cases afraid of coming up front. He adds that the footage could also be of use in National security matters.
Hendrika Stegling however thinkx that installing CCTV cameras would be somewhat an invasion of privacy, “Invasion of privacy would be a biggy, but crime wise it’s beneficial,” the IT graduate said.

Also in the case of Botswana, where power outages are the order of the day, some worry about the efficiency of the system, once installed.
“It won’t make sense to install CCTV when there is no power, they won’t work,” opined Stu Mphafe.

Furthermore, Mphafe worries about the amount of money that would gp towards the programme, when there are more serious issues like water shortage. “It doesn’t make sense to have CCTV when people are all thirsty.”

Government will have to consider seriously who provides the services. Early this year, Business Day reported that CCTV cameras on the streets of Nairobi would have to be upgraded as they “cannot capture reliable images to pin down criminals and traffic offenders.” The cameras were installed by a Chinese company, after it won a tender to install the 51 cameras, Business Day cited.


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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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