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Mo Ibrahim downgrades Botswana

Mo Ibrahim shows year on year on governance decline since 2008

The 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) report indicates that Botswana’s quality of governance is deteriorating under the leadership of President Lt Gen Ian Khama.

The report which was released at the beginning of this week indicates that although the country remains at the top ten of the overall ranking of the African continent, its scores have been going down since Khama took office in April 2008.

“Since 2008, when the current leader came to power, the country has changed from being one on a positive governance trajectory (route) to one on the negative trajectory with particular widespread deterioration in the last year,” the report revealed.

According to the report, Botswana has in recent years started to show some weakening of performance in a range of governance measures although it is still performing comparatively well.

“Although Botswana continues to achieve widespread high scores across much of the IIAG, resulting impressive rank placement in many levels of the data set, its overall score in recent years has declined with deterioration in broad range of governance measures,” the report revealed.

Botswana has continually achieved top ten status in overall governance since 2000. In 2014, the country scored 74.2 out of 100, ranking number three in the 54 countries of Africa. It displayed its best ever overall governance in 2012 and has shown year on year on deterioration ever since, with the most pronounced fall back seen in the most recent years.

The Ibrahim index that measures the quality of governance in every African country on an annual basis, indicates that since 2011, Botswana has shown an overall governance deterioration of about 1.8 points. This it states, places the country within the ten largest fallers of the continent over this time period.

“Apart from Cabo Verde, Botswana is the highest ranking country to show such a decline. This weakening performance is driven by widespread deterioration in three of the four categories, safety and rule of law, participation and human rights and sustainable economic opportunities,” the report further reads.

The country scored 82.7 in safety and rule of law and ranked second in the continent and therefore,  registered the country’s second largest decline of all the governance components.

“The broad nature of the deterioration across the sub categories is conspicuous as all components of the sub categories display the same trend. The country thus records the lowest score since 2000 in 2014, one of only nine countries in the continent to do so,” further reveals the report.

On matters of National security, the country is however ranked one of the Botswana’s best performers of safety and rule of law. The country scored 99.9 and showing a very slight deterioration of a small decimal place on 0.04.

“This is the most positive story for Botswana within this category with no change in four of the five indicators in which the country scores 100.0. The only driver of this slight deterioration is the indicator Political refugees with a slight decline of 0.2 points,” further reads the report.

The ten highest scoring countries in this category in 2014 included Botswana, 95.5, followed by South Africa (95.4), Mauritius (94. 6), Cabo Verde (87.9), Ghana (84.5), Namibia (82.8), Senegal (74.6), Seychelles (74.0), Zambia (71.7) and Malawi at 68.5.

Meanwhile, Botswana scored 68.7 in participation in human rights, making it the country’s second lowest performing category and achieving a continental rank of number 8 in the continent. The category shows Botswana’s largest category deterioration since 2011 of 4.4 points and thus making it one of the then biggest deterioration on the continent.

“All three component sub categories shoes deteriorating performance even though they still show relatively high scores in 2014. Botswana ranks 19th in gender and it is this sub category that shows the largest decline in this category due to a noticeable deterioration within the measures of women in senior public positions. Women in the judiciary, women in politics as well as to a lesser extent in legislation on violence against women,” the reports added.  

The human development category is the only one to show both improvement and overall performance in all the underlying sub categories. The country’s best categories are seen in health and Education measures. However a cause for concern was highlighted on the Education system quality which shows a deterioration of slightly above 10 points.

The country has also ranked in the top ten countries of Africa in terms of every underlying sub category of the sustainable Economic opportunity albeit with a less positive story.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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