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UB adds voice to constitutional review

Tebelelo Seretse

The University of Botswana held a colloquium to discuss its contribution to the dialogue about the amendment of the constitution of Botswana. The event was organized by the Department of Law.

In light of the ongoing discussions about the constitution, the University of Botswana contributed to the discussions by emphasizing the various aspects of the constitution. UB contributed to the discussions to highlight inter alia; social economic rights, new provisions for citizenship rights, presidential and parliamentary enhancement of qualifications, the establishment of a constitutional court, independence of the judiciary and the repelling of certain provisions where possible.

The speakers noted that the process of reviewing the constitution should be carried out through the establishment of a legislature that is capable of carrying out a rigorous review. Tebelelo Seretse, the Chancellor of the University of Botswana, noted that the university took part in the discussion due to its commitment to improving the quality of education and addressing the various social and economic issues facing the country.

She also criticized the previous government’s efforts in introducing piecemeal amendments to the constitution. She also criticized the country’s constitutional framework, which she claimed does not reflect the views of the people.

‘‘The constitution of today, it is fair to say, it is not ours. So as a a young nation. We are being given a very important opportunity to now craft our own constitution. I am disappointed because much as it is overdue, it comes at a time where we are our freedoms, especially the freedom of association, it is curtailed’’, she said.

She also criticized the country’s political and economic marginalization, which she claimed reflected a Eurocentric mindset in the constitution. She called on the judiciary to safeguard the bill of rights and monitor the government’s activities. The appraisal of the bill of rights was heavily influenced by the constitution of South Africa, which is regarded as one of the most significant constitutions in the world.

Law student at the University of Botswana, Zanele Kokorwe, criticized the current constitution, which she claimed is not very practical and lacks relevance. She also claimed that it is leading the country toward a less developed state.

She also praised the constitution of South Africa, which she said is progressive due to its various principles. It can be easily understood by all sections of the population and can be accessible in various languages.

She also praised the constitution of South Africa, which she said is progressive due to its various principles. She said it is based on democratic values and social justice, and it can be easily understood by all sections of the population.

The Law Department of the University of Botswana has suggested that certain sections and clauses be included in the constitution making process to guarantee their impact. It also suggested that a comprehensive legal study be conducted to establish the necessary standards.

In response to the promises made during the 2019 general elections, the President of Botswana announced the formation of a Presidential Commission of Enquiry on the Constitution of the country on December 17, 2021. The commission will be tasked with carrying out a comprehensive review of the constitution.

The country’s constitution was adopted in 1966, and it has undergone several amendments. However, it has not been subjected to a comprehensive constitutional review since independence. The commission has already started holding public engagements to discuss the various aspects of the constitution. It is expected to submit its report to the President in September 2022.

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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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