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Botswana loses millions of pula in tourism

Botswana not benefitting from tourists visits

Botswana is said to be losing a large percentage of its tourism revenue to other countries as a result of leakages. In tourism, the leakage is the way in which revenue generated by tourism is lost to other countries' economies. Leakage may be so significant in some developing countries that it partially neutralizes the money generated by tourism.


Leakages occur in various ways, among them the purchasing of goods and services to satisfy their visitors and, through infrastructure where some less economically developed countries do not have the domestic ability to build tourism-related infrastructure (hotels, airports, etc.).


The cost of such infrastructure is then leaked out of the country. Then other factor is foreign factors of production where smaller countries often require foreign investment to start their tourism industry. Thus, profits from tourism being lost to foreign investors. In addition, travel agents outside of the destination country remove money from that market as well.


Other factors include promotional expenditure where many countries spend considerable sums of money for advertisements and publicity. Botswana has been a victim of this type of leakages.


Maintaining a presence abroad may increase the volume of tourists to a country but also represent a considerable loss of money to foreign markets. There is also what is called transfer pricing where –many foreign companies manipulate their pricing to reduce taxes and other duties. In smaller or less developed countries, where many tourism-related companies may be foreign owned, this can represent a substantial loss of income.  


Botswana is among the top 10 developing countries considered as adventure tourism destinations due to her commitment to sustainable development to tourism, according to the Adventure Tourism Development Index.


Last week a member of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC), Guma Moyo put it to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Elias Magosi that he understands that Botswana is not benefiting from tourists income as the bulk of it goes to foreign countries. Magosi admitted to the possibility, saying that he would follow up the matter with his Ministry.

In the 2014 state of the nation address, President Lt Gen Ian Khama pointed out that in 2013/14 alone, 135 newly licensed citizen-owned enterprises were registered. He explained that as of May 2014, 61 per cent (enterprises) were citizen-owned, 23 per cent were joint ventures, while only 16 per cent were foreign owned. These numbers, WeekendPost can reveal, have greatly increased.


Research shows that for many countries, some sources of leakage are unavoidable. Foreign-owned hotels and airlines are necessary for all but the most established of tourism industries. According to research encouragement of domestic involvement in a country's tourism industry may reduce leakage in the long run. Currently, the most popular measure is restrictions on spending. Countries may limit the use of foreign currency within their borders, reducing the effect of transfer pricing.


The 2007 Tourism Satellite Account by the World Travel and Tourism Council and its partners, Oxford Economics, facilitated by the Botswana Tourism Board, indicates that in 2005, international tourist arrivals by Mode of Transport was 95.4 percent by road, 4.4 percent by air, and only 0.2 percent by rail.


 The tourism industry has played an important role in economic diversification with the sector currently employing around 35 000 people. This was revealed by President Lt Gen.Seretse Khama Ian Khama during the State-of-the-Nation Address in Parliament last year.


He said the industry has experienced 45 per cent increase in licensed enterprises in the past decade with recent growth largely driven by citizen investment. The recently established Tourism Organisation has started its operations.

This organization is a parastatal body mandated to Market the Botswana Tourist Product, Grade and Classify tourist accommodation facilities as well as to promote investment in the Tourism sector.


The Botswana Government’s decision to establish the Botswana Tourism Organisation as a separate institution was in recognition of the fact that functions such as marketing, whether be of a sector or industry are best done outside Government. This Organisation takes over some of the activities that have traditionally been run by the Department of Tourism.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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