The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) in conjunction with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Botswana Oil Limited (BOL), recently launched the ‘Biofuels Guidelines for Botswana’ as a strategic instrument to advance and create a conducive environment in the Biofuels space.
Biofuel is one of the Ministry’s near term strategies to address energy security and climate change. Although an increasing critical discussion has evolved surrounding the risks associated with biofuel production and utilisation, the guidelines aim to establish clear course of action to help mitigate the negative environmental and socio economic impacts of future biofuel projects in relation to environmental sustainability, the guidelines examine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity protection, land and resource-use efficiency, as well as soil and water impacts.
For his part, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative Balazs Horvath highlighted that over the years, UNDP’s; Climate Change Portfolio has partnered with Governments on several pilot projects to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. One such project is the Biogas Project, which supported the Government of Botswana for the past 4 years. This support has resulted in the construction of 200 small scale biogas digesters, the development of the Integrated Waste Management Bill, and Biogas Standards. Further to these, UNDP also supported the Department of Energy and Botswana Oil Limited to develop the Biofuels Guidelines, which aim to control the production, blending, distribution and utilization of locally produced biofuels in Botswana. These guidelines enable the private sector to prepare themselves and take part in the energy sector ultimately supporting the Government of Botswana to attain energy targets and ensure energy security.
Adding “UNDP supports countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through integrated solutions. Implementation of the Biofuel Guidelines supports the attainment of SDG 7 (ensuring clean and renewable energy to all), together with other secondary SDGs. I am happy that UNDP has supported this initiative. Achieving the SDGs requires the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens to ensure we leave a better planet for future generations. This is important to UNDP and remains a key activity as we implement the SDG Road Map for Botswana.”
Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE); Lefoko Moagi in his address disclosed that; the Biogas Guidelines were developed under the biogas project that facilitates low carbon investments in the production and utilisation of biogas from agro waste in South Eastern Botswana the projects aim was to assist the government through three components: institutional strengthening in capacity building, facilitation and establishment of biogas bio plants and setting up of utilization and knowledge platforms.
Continuing that; the guidelines were developed as a means of creating an enabling environment for end users who can produce and distribute biofuels. These guidelines are a tool for interested stakeholders, local and foreign investments. The UNDP has rendered support through technical assistance in developing the bio fuels guidelines. The guidelines are intended to inform policy and practices of biofuel producers and decision makers. These guidelines are said to improve energy reliability as well as supply the national and possible regional demand for biofuels.
When presenting the Biofuels Guidelines, Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) stated that fossil fuel energy is the main contributor to climate change, it produces around 60 percent of greenhouse gases. For many decades, fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas have been major sources of electricity production, but burning carbon fuels produces large amounts of greenhouse gases which cause climate change and have harmful impacts on people’s well-being and the environment.
Supplementing that; “for us at Botswana oil; as we are mandated to ensure security and efficiency of supply of petroleum products for Botswana the guidelines come at a crucial time because we have been bombarded by investors proposals on biogas and utilisation of waste mass across the country. We have been struggling on how to guide them best on which guidelines they must conform to.
The highlight of what is contained in the guidelines include: five sections; technical guidelines, economic viability guidelines, policy formulation, regulatory framework and licensing guidelines. The regulatory framework guidelines section enunciates that liquid bio fuels compete directly with gasoline and diesel. Given the relative size of energy markets in comparison with agricultural markets, energy prices tend to drive prices of biofuels. The government is also expected to provide a biofuel subsidy to promote biofuel distribution, storage and use of infrastructure.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.