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BCP won’t rush to UDC

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) following its successful congress held in Kanye over the President’s holidays, says it will need time to discuss the unity issue. The BCP members retained Dumelang Saleshando as president, unopposed and voted in Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang and his team to lead the party for the next five years.

The ascendance of Kentse Rammidi to the position of secretary general has rocked the boat for those opposed to working with the UDC. Rammidi is pro-opposition unity and wants the BCP to join the UDC. The main gripe of the disgruntled BCP members is the presence of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) in the Umbrella stable.

Before the congress, the party was laden with the debate whether to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) or not to. There were two camps, those who were pro-unity and those who totally opposed the idea of joining the Umbrella. Explaining the resolution of the party on the subject, Dumelang Saleshando said his party has never been against opposition cooperation.

“We have a long standing resolution on the subject of opposition cooperation. There was a resolution even before the congress that after the 2014 general election, we should engage other opposition parties. Our party members had made it clear that we should go back and talk to other parties after the collapse of the first Umbrella talks,” he told WeekendPost.  

Saleshando said at the congress party members adopted his speech’s context on opposition talks, and the inference is that the party should engage other opposition parties as per the standing resolution. “But it must be noted that I would personally not want the talks to be conducted in the manner it was done before where there were deadlines and there was a lot of pressure,” he said.

The BCP President said his party must be given time to interrogate the subject of opposition cooperation internally before they rush into any decisions. He pointed out that the BCP respects its members hence they will always have the final say. He said this time around they will not just bring one model to the table so that the negotiation process is flexible. “We will bring about two or three proposals,” he said.

The BCP’s poor performance in the last elections was attributed, by some pundits, to its solitary approach to the elections. There was opinion that had they been part of the UDC, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) rule will have ended in 2014.

But Saleshando is still adamant that his party, which only managed three seats in Parliament, was a victim of propaganda, character assassination, and a mudslinging campaign. He says the BCP will proceed with contesting the Goodhope-Mabule constituency because there is currently no agreement on bye-elections with the UDC.

Should the BCP join the UDC, it is understood that there will be two posts of Vice President – which will be occupied by Saleshando and Ndaba Gaolathe, while Duma Boko shall retain that of President. However Saleshando told this publication that his party has not even arrived at a stage where it can discuss positions inside the UDC.

“We are yet to meet,” he said. The BCP which commands a strong following in the north is likely to be given most of the constituencies in that region, and a few in the south.

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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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