Republic of Botswana (29/10/05)
TAUTONA TIMES no 38 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"My second major request is for you to permit your diamonds to be aggregated by the Diamond Trading Corporation in Gaborone instead of London." - President Mogae [D2]
"In a historic turn for the industry, the world's largest diamond producer by value has broken De Beers' control over the distribution of 50% of the world's diamonds by bringing its diamonds back home." - Business Day [Johannesburg, 28/10/05]
A. The Southern Hub
B. The Week that was
C. November Press Schedule
D. Statements by H.E. the President at:
1) A State Banquet in his honour held at Tuynhuys, along with accompanying remarks by the host, H.E. President Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa (25/10/05).
2) A Joint Sitting of the South African Parliament (26/10/05).
3) A Business Forum in Cape Town (26/10/05).
4) A Luncheon in his honour hosted by the Premier of the Eastern Cape Province, Ms. Ziziwe Nosimo Balindlela (27/10/05).
5) The Junior Achievement Botswana Gala Dinner (28/10/05).
E. OP Press Office Forwarding:
1) Address to members of the diplomatic corps by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on developments related to the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (21/10/05).
2) Inaccurate reporting by BTV and BOPA (25/10/05).
3) State Visit to South Africa update (26/10/05).
4) Communiqué on the State Visit to South Africa (26/10/05).
5) Additional notes and forwarding.
A. A Southern Hub
Just as our freedom was indivisible, so too should be our future prosperity." - President Mogae to SA MPs [D 2]
"Mogae Challenges SA MPs to Rock the Diamond World" - Business Day
Welcome TT 38 of 2005, which focuses on this week's State Visit by H.E. the President to the Republic of South Africa. The highlight of the visit was His Excellency's Wednesday afternoon address to a joint sitting of the South African Parliament, which made global headlines by calling for the aggregation of southern Africa's diamonds in Gaborone [D 2].
The proposed SADC diamond pool would make the region a global centre of diamond trading, as well as production, breaking the longstanding dominance of the London based Central Selling Organisation. Meanwhile the construction of the new Gaborone Diamond Trade Centre is already at an advanced stage.
During the State Visit, the President also had the opportunity on various occasions to point out that Botswana is by far South Africa's leading trade partner on the continent. This longstanding fact tends to be hidden from the public due to the fact that South Africa's trade with Botswana and the other member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), that is Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, are often ignored as if they represented internal rather than international trading.
Founded in 1903, SACU is the world's oldest surviving Customs Union. In recent years has been negotiating free and preferential trading agreements with other major global markets in a bid to promote the region as a major hub for global trade and investment. SACU's efforts in this respect compliment those of the wider Southern African Development Community, which is laying the groundwork for a common market of over 200 million.
- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (29/10/05)
Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795.
Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail: email@example.com.
B. November Press Schedule:
As always the events listed below, which represent only those parts of H.E. the President's schedule open in whole or part to press coverage, are subject to change. When possible and necessary, updates will be forwarded. Members of the Press are also encouraged to contact the sponsors of the various events listed below for further programme details and possible updates.
Tuesday (1/11/05): In the afternoon, at 15:00, at the Office of the President, there will be a cheque presentation towards the Masiele Trust Fund from Choppies Super Stores.
Wednesday (2/11/05): In the evening, from 19:00, H.E. the President will attend and address the Anniversary dinner of DMB Star Diamond Group, at the GICC. The Dinner will mark 25 years of Diamond Manufacturing in Botswana and the inauguration of the new DMB Star Cutting and Polishing Centre in Gaborone.
Friday (4/11/05): During the afternoon, from 14:30, H.E. the President will receive the credentials of the incoming High Commissioners of the United Kingdom, Sierra Leone and Malawi, and the Ambassador of Brazil. In the evening he will attend the Kalahari Conservation Society Dinner at the GICC.
Saturday (5/11/05): During the day, H.E. the President will be in the Gweta Constituency.
Monday (7/11/05): In the afternoon, from 14:00, H.E. the President will attend the opening of the second session of the Ninth Parliament, where he will deliver the annual State of the Nation Address.
Thursday (10/11/05): During the morning, from 9:00, the President will be in Sebina, where he will receive on behalf of the National AIDS Coordinating Agency a cheque from Metsef and the Banner Group of retail companies.
Saturday (12/11/05): In the evening H.E. the President will attend the Law Society and Administration of Justice Dinner.
Monday (14/11/05): At noon, at the Office of the President, H.E. the President will receive a courtesy call from the retiring CEO of Merck Company, Mr. Raymond Gilmartin.
Wednesday (16/11/05): In the afternoon, at 15:00, Office of the President, H.E. the President is scheduled to meet with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Thursday (17/11/05): In the morning, from 8:00, H.E. the President will chair a meeting of the High Level Consultative Council at the Pavilion, Fairground Holdings.
Saturday (19/11/05): During the day, H.E. the President will welcome and hold talks with the Chinese Vice Premier Huang Ju, who will be in Botswana for the three day official visit. In the morning, the President is also scheduled to attend the annual Council Meeting of the Botswana Scout Association. In the evening, he will attend the BOCCIM Annual Gala Dinner at the GICC.
Wednesday (30/11/05): In the evening, H.E. the President will attend a dinner in honour of the President and CEO of the Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Peter G. Trebler.
Also during the month, H.H. the Vice President will be attending on H.E. the President's behalf the UN World Summit on Information Society in Tunis (16-18/11/05) and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta (25-28/11/05).
C. OP Press opportunities for the week ending 22/10/05:
Monday (24/10/05): In the morning, H.E. the President departed for Cape Town to begin his State Visit to the Republic of South Africa.
Tuesday (25/10/05): In the morning, the President and the First Lady arrived at Tuynhuys, where they were received by H.E. President Mbeki of South Africa and Mrs. Mbeki. After a formal welcoming ceremony the two Presidents held bilateral talks, subsequently joining their Ministers, who had been engaged in parallel talks. After the talks six bilateral agreements will be signed. [E 3-4] Thereafter, there was a media briefing by the two leaders. Later in the afternoon, the President met with the Premier of the Western Cape Province, Mr. Ebrahim Rasool. The President also gave interviews to SABC and AND television. In the evening, the President, along with other members of their delegation, returned to Tuynhuys for a State Banquet hosted by President Mbeki [D 1].
Wednesday (26/10/05): In the morning, the President and other members of the delegation toured Robben Island. In the afternoon, he addressed a joint sitting of the South African Parliament [D 2]. Thereafter, he met with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was also be in South Africa. In the evening, the President participated in an investment forum organised with the cooperation with BEDIA [D 3].
Thursday (27/10/05): During the day, the President flew to the Eastern Cape Province, where he and his delegation were hosted by the Premier, Ms. Ziziwe Nosimo Balindlela. Bilateral talks were followed by a luncheon and media briefing [D 4]. The President then departed for Gaborone.
Friday (28/10/05): During the afternoon, the President's received a farewell call by the Ghanaian High Commissioner. In the evening he attended and addressed the Junior Achievement Botswana Annual Gala Dinner [D 5].
Saturday (29/10/05): During the day the President was in the North East district, where he will take part in the BDP's Tati West Victory Celebration.
D 1a) REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, AT A STATE BANQUET HOSTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. THABO M. MBEKI, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, CAPE TOWN (25/10/05).
Your Excellency, Mr. Thabo M. Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, and Mrs. Zanele Mbeki; Honourable Ministers from South Africa and Botswana here present; Honourable Members of Parliament here present; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;
1. My delegation and I are delighted to be with you all tonight. Although I have been given the honour of a State Visit to your beautiful country, I do not really feel as if I have crossed a border. This is because I know we are breaking bread tonight with brothers and sisters.
2. Mr. President, our peoples are truly bound together as a family. This is literally true insofar as many of us are blood relations. It is also true given our common heritage, cultural affinities, shared languages and geographic proximity.
3. It is because of our close bonds that in the past, when your house was on fire we, as your immediate neighbours, in our own modest and many little ways, suffered with and fought alongside you. As we say in Setswana: "Matlo go sha mabapi." Thankfully, the inferno that was apartheid has now been extinguished.
4. The liberation of South Africa not only unlocked the political space for the citizens of this country. It has also expanded the frontiers of democracy and freedom in our region and beyond, changing forever the political and economic landscape of our continent.
5. Mr. President, I doubt that any of us could have believed back in September 1962, that a fresh-faced student coming through our border gate at Lobatse was at the beginning of a journey that would see him become the leader of a free and proudly democratic South Africa. But, in the years that followed we came to know you better, as a gifted brother as well as dedicated freedom fighter. And so, we have become accustomed to your achievements.
6. Today, under your visionary leadership, South Africa is a beacon of our African Renaissance. This is clearly reflected in our New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Botswana is happy to be part of this initiative. And I, Mr. President, am personally happy to serve alongside you in its Implementation Committee.
7. We, in Botswana are also happy to acknowledge the proactive role that you and your Government are playing in collective efforts to bring peace and security to our entire continent. In this respect, it is clear to us that South Africa is in a position to assume higher international responsibilities in the context of ongoing efforts to promote a more equitable framework for global consensus.
8. Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, in this globalised world, it is good that we are now standing together as a family in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), as well as the African Union. A couple of months ago we were reminded that at the time of its birth a quarter of a century ago SADCC was but an idea half way fulfilled.
9. It is no secret that Botswana relies heavily on South Africa for her imports. It is also no secret that Botswana is one of the leading consumers of South Africa's goods and services. If we are not only to sustain but also grow further these mutually beneficial economic ties that exist between us, we must find ways of redressing the currently existing severe trade imbalances. In my language we have an adage - "Mabogo dinku a thebana," meaning that we need one another to prosper.
10. In the area of trade for instance in 2004 the value of Botswana's imports from South Africa stood at just over 17 billion Rand, while that of our exports stood at about Rand 2 billion. According to our calculations, this by the way means that we are, in fact, the leading market on the continent for your exports.
11. On the other hand, Mr. President, we are grateful for your hosting of over 6600 Batswana students in your tertiary institutions. The Government of Botswana annually spends over half a billion Rand on the education and training of its people at various places of learning in South Africa. In addition to these, there are many other privately sponsored students at various institutions.
12. We are indeed fortunate to benefit from our proximity to your world class services in many areas, notably in the field of high-tech medicine as well as education.
13. In this respect, it is imperative that the depth and interdependent nature of our relations is not only appreciated at the official level. It should also find practical expression in the interaction of our peoples and the private sector if we are to derive maximum tangible benefits.
14. We should encourage both our private sectors to avoid business practices that undermine our mutual development efforts and any commitments that we have made at the official level.
15. You and I Mr. President know that our two governments have spared no effort in establishing appropriate mechanisms to further enhance and deepen our cooperation. Four years ago, we signed an Agreement establishing a Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security. During your memorable State Visit to Botswana in 2003, our two countries further signed an Agreement establishing the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation. These instruments, Your Excellency, are serving as valuable vehicles in strengthening our relations, identifying new areas of cooperation and bringing more focus and coordination in the implementation of the commitments that we have undertaken.
16. Earlier today we signed a number of additional agreements setting out practical steps that can be taken to move our relations forward.
17. Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would be remiss, it I did not recognize the important role played by the father of this South African nation, Nelson Mandela and the others of his generation in establishing this beautiful rainbow nation of yours. We recall that, back in 1960, the father of our own nation, Seretse Khama, was able to ensure safe haven in Serowe for his old classmate Oliver Tambo, along with his compatriots.
18. As a family, we have indeed travelled many miles together and achieved much along the way. Further challenges undoubtedly lie ahead of us but we shall overcome them for we shall forever remain united.
19. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I invite you all to now join me in a toast to the good health of His Excellency the President and Mrs Mbeki, to the continued fraternal ties between our two Governments and peoples, and to the shared prosperity of our two countries. I thank you. PULA!
D 1B) Remarks by H.E. the President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the State Banquet in honour of H.E. President Festus Mogae (25/10/05)
Your Excellency, President Festus Mogae, First Lady, Barbara Mogae, Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
1. My wife and I are truly delighted and honoured to welcome you, Your Excellency, First Lady Barbara Mogae and your delegation on the occasion of your first state visit to South Africa. On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, we convey our warmest greetings to you and through you to the people of Botswana.
2. We still remember vividly our visit to your beautiful country in 2003 when we were honoured with an opportunity to address your esteemed Parliament. We will always be grateful for that. That gesture sent out a clear message of the depth of the relationship our two countries enjoy. Your presence in our country, Mr. President, is once more a manifestation of the shared destiny that natural, political and cultural history has bestowed on both our countries.
3. Mr. President, we are very pleased with the growth of the relations of friendship, solidarity, good neighbourliness and mutually beneficial co-operation between our countries and peoples. This has established a very firm base for us to continue to work together to address the common challenge to provide a better life for both our peoples.
4. In this context I would like to take advantage of this important occasion once more to thank you, the government and the people of Botswana for the sacrifices they made to help us achieve our liberation. We will never forget the blood that was shed by your compatriots, Mr President, because they too were committed to see an end to the apartheid crime against humanity.
5. When in 2000 our two countries gave birth to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it was to symbolise in concrete terms the meaning of true collaboration in this century of hope for the African continent. It is surely what Botswana's revered poet, Leetile Disang Raditladi had in mind when he wrote in his eloquent poem, Aferika:
"Aferika, fatshe la letsatsi
Le phatsimang ngwaga fela, Aferika lefatshe la metse
A masetlhana nokeng tsotlhe. Lefatshe leno ke la temo, Lefatshe leno ke la kgomo, Lefatshe leno ke la khumo; Tse di bonwa mono Aferika."
[Approximate English translation]:
"Africa, the land where the sun shines throughout the year,
Africa, the land of sandy coloured water in all rivers.
This land is the land of agriculture,
This land is the land of cattle,
This land is the land of wealth,
All these are found here in Africa".
6. Sefalana sa menate celebrates the immense natural and human resource heritage bequeathed to us by nature and our ancestors, with an injunction to hold it in responsible stewardship on behalf of future generations. To give Africa a better tomorrow means that today we must, together, do everything in our power to rid our beautiful mother continent of the scourge of poverty and underdevelopment.
7. Your Excellency, it was precisely because we understood that historical imperative, that during our visit to your country in 2003, we agreed to establish the Botswana/South Africa Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation to provide an institutional mechanism to consolidate and expand our bilateral relations.
8. Since the coming into effect of the Commission, we have entered into various other Bilateral Agreements including the six we signed today. I am informed that additional Agreements are in the process of negotiation. Not only do we note with satisfaction the growth in our economic and trade relations, we look forward to their further expansion for mutual benefit. In addition, Mr. President, we in South Africa are proud to have as a partner in the advancement of democracy and continental unity the great people of Botswana who under your leadership continue to be true standard bearers of African pride.
9. Collectively therefore, we remain challenged at all times to remain true to the critical mission of doing everything possible to help our region and continent to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment.
10. With respect to our roles in the various continental institutions, we wish to express our appreciation for the continued commitment Botswana has shown toward the important task of strengthening the African Union and its development programme, New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Let us continue to work for the strengthening our co-operative relationships both at Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and South African Development Countries (SADC). With regard to SADC, we would like to reaffirm our unwavering support for you, Mr. President, as you lead us as we strive to speed up the process of regional integration.
11. Once again, Mr. President, a very warm welcome to this your second home and many thanks for giving us the privilege to host you for a few days.
12. Ladies and gentlemen: Please rise and join me in a toast to the good health and prosperity of President Festus Mogae and First Lady Barbara Mogae and to the eternal bond of friendship between the peoples of Botswana and South Africa. To Friendship! Pula!
D 2) ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, TO THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, CAPE TOWN (26/10/05)
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms. Baleka Mbete; Your Excellency, President Thabo Mbeki and Mrs. Mbeki; Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Mr. Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu; Your Honour the Deputy President Mrs. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Honourable Leaders of Political Parties and Honourable Members of Parliament; Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers; The Premiers and Leaders of the South African Local Government Authority; Your Excellencies, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;
1. It is an honour and a privilege for me to have been invited to address this august House. I consider the invitation not only an honour to my person but also to the entire government and people of Botswana.
2. My presence here this afternoon is a clear demonstration of the excellent relations that Botswana and South Africa enjoy. As I indicated last night, Batswana and South Africans are like members of a family divided by a fence. Indeed our countries and peoples have a common history, shared cultural values as well as languages.
3. Moreover, Madam Speaker, our relations are underpinned by our mutual commitment to democracy, good governance and respect for the rule of law. And thanks to these convergences of values, our relations have continued to grow.
4. History is replete with examples of victory in the quest for freedom over seemingly insurmountable odds. You, the people of South Africa, bear testament to this fundamental truth. You have prevailed over the forces of oppression, suppression and repression and ushered in a new era of political, social and economic growth.
5. Today, as a result of this new political dispensation, it is possible for me to address this Honourable House, which has become a bastion of popular sovereignty, reflecting the aspirations of all the peoples of this great country.
6. We in Botswana are pleased to have played our own modest part in the realization of this transformation. Today we can look back with pride, rather than whisper about, such events as the holding of the first Conference of the African National Congress in exile in Lobatse in 1962. We are also pleased that, during the long decades of struggle, we were able to provide safe haven and transit for so many of those at risk for having chosen the path of resistance.
7. Madam Speaker, Botswana's commitment to the liberation of your country was more than a moral imperative. Batswana were fully aware that as long as South Africa was in turmoil, prospects for enduring peace and tranquillity in their own country and its immediate neighbours, would be elusive.
8. Just as our freedom was indivisible, so too should be our future prosperity.
9. Given its geographical location, the smallness of its population, the level of its infrastructural development and its narrow economic base, as well as historical, cultural and linguistic links events in South Africa could never be a matter of indifference to us.
10. Statistics show that Botswana depends on South Africa for an array of goods and services, including motor vehicles, furniture, clothing, drugs, medical equipment and financial services.
11. Overall trade figures indicate that in 2004 alone, Botswana exported goods worth R 2 billion to South Africa while our imports from South Africa stood at R 17 billion, reflecting a heavily skewed trade surplus in your favour. This, incidentally, also makes Botswana, South Africa's largest trading partner on the continent.
12. In the area of education, we are truly grateful for your hosting over 6600 of our students in your universities and technical colleges. The Government of Botswana spends over a half a billion rand per annum on these Batswana students studying at tertiary institutions in this country.
13. A significant number of South African registered companies benefit from lucrative contracts in Botswana. Just this year alone, these companies have won contracts in excess of R 1.2 billion for providing services to Botswana Government. This is a clear demonstration of how interlinked our economies are.
14. We should do all we can to promote a healthier balance in our bilateral cooperation. In this way, the opportunities that we generate individually and collectively can be used for the common good of our peoples and countries.
15. Let us work together to strengthen cooperation in our rail transport sub-sector as an important engine for the economic development of our two countries. In this regard it is imperative that cooperation and complementarities between the railway organizations of our two countries should be nurtured and encouraged to optimize their capacity and sustainability.
16. South Africa needs economically prosperous and politically stable neighbours with which it can trade. Our region cannot, fully prosper on the basis of growth and prosperity by some and stagnation by others.
17. I openly admit that even though our present relationship is mutually beneficial and, in qualitative terms, South Africa benefits hugely, in the final analysis, we need you more, much more than you need us.
18. Consequently, I have come to your country to ask you, the South African nation, through your government, to facilitate and be supportive of our development efforts.
19. I have made specific requests to your government. First, I would like you to participate with us in the construction of an insitu Thermal Power Station, whose output would be sold to Eskom to augment the regional power pool.
20. Instead of building rival power stations, you can easily expand the exports of your high quality coking coal to Japan and India, both of which countries need it badly. As we all know 80% of any income generated by Botswana would be spent on South African goods and services.
21. My second major request is for you to permit your diamonds to be aggregated by the Diamond Trading Corporation in Gaborone instead of London. I will be making the same request to the Namibians, in particular, and others in the SADC region. It would still be possible, under such an arrangement, to facilitate the supply of rough diamonds for the cutting and polishing industry inside South Africa.
22. My Foreign Affairs experts have advised me that it may be diplomatically impolitic to mention these issues in this House. I, however, do so because not only are they of great importance, but also, and perhaps above all, because if the government were to accede to my requests, in this vibrant democracy, they would need the consent and support of this Honourable House. And, in any case, in Setswana we say, "ngwana o sa leleng o swela tharing," literally meaning, that a child who doesn't cry risks dying on its mother's back unnoticed.
23. Madam Speaker, I must hasten to add that we have recorded substantial progress in strengthening our bilateral cooperation through our Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation and Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security.
24. These instruments, Madam Speaker, have served as valuable vehicles in identifying new areas of cooperation and bringing more focus and coordination in the implementation of the commitments that we have undertaken.
25. Yesterday, our two countries signed a number of sector-specific agreements which will provide impetus to our concerted efforts in tackling the challenges that confront us.
26. Poverty alleviation, employment creation, communicable diseases, in particular the HIV and AIDS pandemic, as well as natural disasters remain our major preoccupations. We should, therefore, redouble our efforts to reign in this scourge through, among others, the mobilization of the requisite resources to facilitate the implementation of the SADC Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS and the Maseru Declaration.
27. Regarding international relations, Madame Speaker, we commend and have done so in international meetings abroad and on various occasions, this country's leadership in peace-making in the rest of the continent. We are happy that the torch that was once carried by Zambia and Tanzania is being blazoned from the very Southern tip of our continent.
28. Madame Speaker, let me therefore take special and specific note of South Africa's role in seeking peaceful solutions to the conflicts in Burundi, Cote D'Ivoire, Sudan, the Comoros and the Democratic Republic of Congo amongst others. I also wish to acknowledge with pride, the personal commitment and statesmanship of my brother and colleague President Thabo Mbeki, in trying to resolve these conflicts.
29. While we support the original African position on the reform of the Security Council, it is our considered opinion, that, the all or nothing approach is inappropriate in the circumstances.
30. As a small country, we are perhaps more reconciled, more accustomed than others to being satisfied with a half a loaf until next time. Consequently, we would have liked to see those of our member countries, such as R.S.A. with the capacity to do so, become permanent members of the Security Council even without the veto, while not abandoning the demand for parity with the present permanent members. Some may consider our position capitulationism; we consider it realistic and pragmatic.
31. Madam Speaker, in conclusion, let me reiterate my gratitude for the honour you have bestowed on me and my country for the opportunity you have afforded me to address you in this majestic House in the Mother City. I thank you.
D 3) REMARKS BY H.E. MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE, PPRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ADDRESSING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN CAPE TOWN (26/10/05)
Director of Ceremonies, Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Captains of the Industry, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
1. I am very pleased that you have found time to be with us tonight. You are most welcome.
2. Botswana has, over the past 39 years of independence, achieved considerable economic transformation generated mainly from exports of beef and diamonds. Our country is the largest exporter of gem diamonds in the world and the resulting earnings have been utilized judiciously by Government to develop good social and physical infrastructure. The Government of Botswana has, however, long realised the importance of diversifying the economy away from dependence on traditional exports.
3. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have taken bold steps to induce the private sector to participate actively in the economic development of the country and the diversification of its economic base. Our policies are dictated by the firm belief that for our country to attain its development objectives, we need to be in partnership with a strong and dynamic private sector. I can therefore assure you that we will continue to formulate and implement prudent economic management policies that are supportive of the private sector.
4. Botswana, as a growing economy, welcomes investment in different sectors. I would, however, like to briefly mention two major projects and a Government initiative, which I believe offer your companies excellent and unique investment prospects. These are the Mamabula Export Power Station, the Methane Gas project and a Private Public Partnership initiative. After my brief intervention I will call upon the Chief executive Officer of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) to take you through the various investment opportunities and related information.
5. With regard to the Mamabula Export Power Station, Botswana has abundant coal reserves which are estimated at about 200 billion tons, out of which only 1 million tons is used annually for power. As you may be aware, there are indications that there will be a power shortage in the SADC region by 2007 and beyond. It is against this background that intensive exploration activities are currently undertaken to establish the feasibility of setting up an export power station using the coal resources of Botswana.
6. Concerning the Methane Gas project, my Government has, in collaboration with the private sector, confirmed that Botswana's coal beds contain an estimated 60 trillion cubic feet, possibly more, quantities of methane gas. The latter is an exciting discovery. A feasibility study has already been completed and has confirmed the potential for further development of this resource. Consequently a more detailed feasibility study has begun. It is expected that the successful extraction of the gas will have a multiplier effect on the economy of Botswana. I therefore invite you to actively examine investment prospects in the latter project.
7. Turning to the Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative I mentioned earlier, the Government of Botswana has adopted the use of the PPP as an option for implementing government infrastructure projects, amongst others. This is consistent with Government's belief that the private sector can play a positive role in the economic development of the country.
8. Although the PPP initiative is still at an early stage, I am aware that South Africa is already much more advanced in the use of the system. It is therefore my strong conviction that some of your companies could be our partners in the implementation of this option.
9. We have currently initiated two projects for serviced Government office accommodation and hope that more projects will be developed through the PPP. Our training and educational institutions, such as our second university and a medical school are amongst the projects we would be actively considering.
10. Although we are currently working on the legislative and institutional framework required for their implementation of the PPP, I invite you to be on the look out for investment prospects that will be generated by this initiative.
11. I would also like to inform you that Government has set up a privatization agency with a mandate to guide us in the privatization of some of our public enterprises and outsourcing of some of the Government services to the private sector. The latter initiative will also, no doubt, generate some investment prospects.
12. At this stage, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me ask the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) to take you through some of the pertinent details which may be of interest to you. I thank you for listening to me.
D 4) STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. FESTUS GONTEBANYE MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, AT A LUNCHEON HELD IN HIS HONOUR BY THE PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, MS. ZIZIWE NOSIMO BALINDLELA (27/10/05)
Madame Premier, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,
1. It is a great pleasure for me, along with my delegation, to be able to spend this day in your beautiful Province. Yesterday, when I addressed Parliament in Cape Town, I spoke of the citizens of our two nations as belonging to a single family.
2. This is certainly reflected in the longstanding social and economic ties that have existed between Botswana and the Eastern Cape.
3. In particular, I wish to here take note of the fact that migrants from this region, that is IsiXhosa speaking people, have over many decades made a notable and lasting contribution to the progress of my own country.
4. While archaeology and oral traditions suggest that we were never strangers, from the late nineteenth century the ties between our peoples became more intimate as we found ourselves working together in railways and mines, sitting together in class rooms, and in more recent times, struggling together against colonialism and apartheid.
5. Many of the AmaXhosa who would enrich our country first came north with the construction of the railway in the 1890s. Besides workers these came to include teachers, clerks, police constables and other educated individuals.
6. Among these were many Mfengu who settled in what the Europeans referred to as the "Fingo location" of Mafikeng. Prominent among these were two brothers, Richard and Peter Sidzumo who played a leading role in helping our Dikgosi, that is traditional leaders, to organize from 1908 against the threat of incorporation into the settler ruled Union of the South.
7. As Peter Sidzumo writing to one of the Dikgosi, Bathoen I, in September 1908 warned:
"We have found that the white settlers do not like the black people, neither do they appreciate to see them own land the wealth of which was given to us by God. They only desire to see destruction, hatred, war and poverty for black people. Many whites do not like the powers of our rulers...We are not the nations that have met about the new Union."
8. Through such lobbying Batswana were encouraged to unite not only among themselves, but with others throughout the region to oppose the Union. As a result they joined together with such pioneer patriots from this province as Walter Rubusana and John Tengo Jabavu in forging broader coalitions such as the 1909 South African Native Convention and subsequent Coloured and Native People's Delegation to London.
9. At about the same time some leading Batswana also became involved in another great project that has brought our peoples together over the years - the Inter-State Native College Scheme that founded Fort Hare University.
10. In an address delivered before the Scheme's July 1908 Convention one of our Dikgosi, Sebele I, drew inspiration from developments elsewhere on the continent:
"Is it really true that a French Committee has drafted a bill under the Minister of Education for the establishment of an African University at Algiers? Have the French undoubtedly not shown great courage in dealing with this phase of the Education Problem? Is it not a rather startling fact that the Great French Native dependency is represented in the Parliament of Paris by aboriginal and elected deputies!!! Why should South Africa prove so marked an exception?"
11. In the decades that followed our people continued to rub shoulders in classrooms in Botswana, South Africa and elsewhere, notably including of course Fort Hare.
12. Madame Premier, Ladies and Gentlemen, while we now live in a changed world, a world of global communications and markets, I am convinced that the human ties that have united our region can and should continue to strengthen and sustain us.
13. Indeed, I would argue, that the challenges of globalization make it all the more important for us to work together through our common institutions and initiatives, such as the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), Southern African Customs Union (SACU) the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union. We must strive to work together to realize our African Renaissance not as some distant dream.
14. We must rather see our continent's collective renewal as a practical necessity in an increasingly competitive world. Otherwise we as Africans will continue to be marginalized. Fortunately, in the ongoing progress of this rainbow nation, Africans everywhere have found renewed hope.
15. Madame Premier, I here stress the word renewed, for our shared vision for our continent is not entirely new. As another great patriot Pixley ka Seme stated in his 1906 graduation address at Columbia University in New York, affirmed that:
"The Giant is awakening! From the four corners of the earth Africa's sons are marching to the future's golden door bearing the record of their deeds... Already I have seen a brighter day rising upon Africa. Already I have seen her chains dissolve, her desert plain red with harvest, her Abyssinia and her Zululand the seats of science and religion, reflecting the glory of the rising sun from the spires of their churches and universities. Her Congo and her Gambia whitened with commerce, her crowded cities sending forth the hum of business and all her sons employed in advancing the victories of peace."
16. In order to translate the enduring hope of pioneers like Seme and Sidzumo, Sebele and Rubusana into tangible reality I believe it is necessary for us, as Africans, to rededicate ourselves towards collectively ensuring that:
* All our people become economically as well as politically empowered;
* We never allow ourselves to become alienated either from each other or the rich legacy of those who have come before us; and
* All of us come to live together in a united and proud continent that interacts with the rest of the world on an equal basis.
17. Through their own cross border relationships, the peoples of this sub-continent, including those of Botswana and the Eastern Cape, have long demonstrated that we shall be richer and stronger when we live and work together.
18. It is also by standing on their broad shoulders that we shall continue to reject the negativism of the afro-pessimists, as well as those from outside who otherwise deny us our capacity to determine our own destiny.
19. Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, with these words, may I now ask you to stand and join me in a toast to this great Province, to the continued friendship and solidarity between the Governments and people of Botswana and South Africa; and to the future prosperity of our great continent. PULA!
D 5) STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, AT THE JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT BOTSWANA GALA DINNER, BOIPUSO HALL (28/10/05).
1. Let me begin by commending those present for have taken the time to be here with us tonight. This annual event is always an important date on the Junior Achievement Botswana (JAB) calendar. Apart from fundraising, it is an opportunity for JAB to recognize its strategic partners in the business community and elsewhere.
2. This evening is also a chance for the rest of us to appreciate JAB's continued good efforts. In this respect I am pleased to confirm that, over the past year, JAB has continued to play an active role in the development of this nation's most precious asset, our youth.
3. The theme for this year's Dinner is "putting the future of our children in their hands". I am informed that this will also be the theme for JAB's Strategic Plan for the next four years.
4. Underlying this new motto is the age old truth that, with proper guidance and nurturing, children can become the masters of their destiny. This is certainly something that I have witnessed over the years in the context of Junior Achievement.
5. Director of Ceremonies, one of the greatest challenges we currently face as a nation is that of unemployment among first time job seekers. It is distressing to see so many of our sons and daughters, whose education we have invested in, being unable to make a productive contribution. Besides depriving them and their families the chance for economic betterment, enforced idleness can easily rob those who are otherwise in the prime of their lives of their self-esteem. This in turn can breed destructive rather than constructive behaviour.
6. We should all recognise that the days when Government was in a position to absorb most school leavers are no more. While one might think that this is an obvious point, surveys have consistently shown that a majority of Batswana do still look to Government to provide for their employment, as well as social welfare.
7. Polling further suggests that many appear to want an economy in which Government provides everything, while at the same time promoting private accumulation and consumption.
8. Such an economy does not, indeed can not exist. Private wealth must be earned through personal effort. For more and more of our youth this will have to be as a result of working in the private sector, either for themselves or others.
9. But, at the moment, many of the openings in the private sector call for skills and/or experience that our first time job seekers lack. This is where JAB has an important role to play.
10. Students who participate in the JAB programme before leaving school gain practical business experience. In this way they enter the job market with basic skills and a greater understanding of the world of work. Thus, JAB benefits society as a whole, as well as its individual participants, in line with its commitment to "Build our nation today one child after another."
11. A few JAB alumni have been able to establish and sustain their own companies immediately after leaving school. This is certainly a most welcome development for nothing could secure the economic future of our country more than an emerging generation of young independent entrepreneurs.
12. We do recognise, that most leavers will probably not be in a position to become immediately self-employed upon graduation. They will, however, have all been inculcated from a greater degree of entrepreneurial spirit. All enterprises require productive employees who are hardworking and embrace the spirit of free enterprise by realizing that their salaries and wellbeing are tied to the continued profitability and growth of the companies for which they work.
13. Ladies and Gentlemen, good business ideas usually need team effort to implement. In other words, the success of entrepreneurs depends on good workers who are also skilled and innovative.
14. Given the value of the JAB in providing our young citizens with a leg up in life, I wish to take advantage of this gathering to once more encourage others in society, including parents, who have not been involved in this fine programme to come forward so it can reach out to even more young lives.
15. In conclusion Director of Ceremonies, I wish to once more commend those companies and organisations, which have supported JAB throughout this past year, as well individuals who have volunteered their time. By supporting JAB you are all securing the long-term prospects for this economy and thus yourselves. I thank you.
E. OP PRESS OFFICE FORWARDING:
E 1) 21/10/05: Address by Hon. Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to Their Excellencies Ambassadors/High Commissioners and other diplomats based in Gaborone
1. Recent events and press reports on developments relating to the CKGR relocation prompted the organizing of this briefing for resident diplomats. The briefing is indeed timely and necessary as it had not been done over a long period of time. Although it is important to keep everybody informed, it should be noted that we have been reluctant to discuss most of the issues relating to the CKGR relocation because they are before the courts in the country.
2. Their Excellencies may be aware that the current controversies arise from a decision by Government to persuade people to relocate from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The decision to relocate was made in 1986 and the actual relocations began in 1997, eleven years later after extensive consultations with all the residents of the CKGR. The decision taken, based on the findings of the 1985 Government Fact Finding Mission was that:
* the social and economic development of Old Xade and other settlements in the Reserve should be frozen because they had no prospect for becoming economically viable, and
* viable sites for economic and social development should be identified outside the Reserve and residents of the Reserve encouraged but not forced to relocate at those sites.
2. And nearly 20 years later this is still the Government position. To understand this position one must first understand the environment and importance of the CKGR which is located in the South-western part of this country. This area is described more by its limitations than opportunities, with no permanent surface water, low rainfall and nutrient poor soils. Most of Botswana's poor live in this region of the country.
3. With agriculture presenting limited or negligible opportunities, sustainable use of wildlife resources is identified as the primary engine of economic growth addressing the need for effective poverty alleviation strategy and socioeconomic advancement for communities in this region.
4. The CKGR is a critical component of the protected area network and the conservation strategy of this country. The Reserve is a vast area of over 52,000 sq km and is the 'Core' or 'Source' wildlife area for this region of the country. Wildlife from the Reserve disperses out for use in the adjoining Wildlife Management and communal areas and provides a lifeline to thousands of people living in the region outside the CKGR who are principally dependent on wildlife for subsistence and economic opportunities.
5. Studies on the living conditions of people living in the Game Reserve identified the CKGR as a poverty trap. A socio economic survey conducted in the area revealed that by 1996 over 53% of the population was dependent on destitute food services and 87% of respondents were illiterate, having had no education at all.
6. As landlessness is the primary indicator of poverty, the need to develop land ownership and access was critical to the poverty alleviation strategy for these people. It should be noted that land ownership was not possible in the CKGR.
7. With absolute poverty on the increase, it was necessary for Government to develop and implement a long term strategy to provide essential services and development structures which would allow people an exit from the poverty trap and total reliance on Government support.
8. People of the CKGR requested that they be relocated and selected for themselves the location to settle outside the Game Reserve. All but 17 people from two related families, of the 2000 people who resided in the CKGR voluntarily relocated by 2002. 1739 relocated to New Xade in 1997 and the remaining people relocated in 2002.
9. The largest of the settlements, New Xade, is located within the 5000 sq km area called Okwa Wildlife Management Area which is in the same protected area network as the CKGR. Former residents of the Game Reserve have been given special permits to hunt wildlife and have exclusive access to this vast area. In addition, relocated people were given compensation, livestock and land.
10. It is Government's intention to develop a Management Plan for the CKGR which would enable communities to have access to veldt products and develop tourism ventures for economic advancement and benefit sharing in the Game Reserve. The Draft Final Management Plan has however been stalled by the ongoing Court case. The Draft Plan envisages 21% of the Reserve to be made available for the exclusive use of the relocated communities of Kaudwane and New Xade in areas called Community Use Zones.
* No hunting or permanent villages will be allowed but communities will be given the opportunity to collect veldt products and develop tourism ventures for economic advancement and benefit sharing in the Reserve.
* This land mass is over 11,000 km2 and is equivalent in size to the next largest protected area in the country - Chobe National Park.
* No community in the history of Botswana has enjoyed exclusive access to a National Park or Reserve or been given the total land area set aside for the people who relocated from the CKGR (greater than 17,000 km2).
11. With regard to the Court case, on the request of the Applicants the case was adjourned for 4 months for fundraising by Survival International to support their lawyer in the court case. The case will continue on the 6th of February 2006. An adjournment was provided to allow them to fund raise, this being the third adjournment in the case for this purpose.
12. The Government was well aware that Survival International would fabricate sensational news in an effort to raise these funds but felt that justice could not be served to the citizens of the country without allowing them any amount of time to find funds as required. This has unfortunately resulted in a rush of blatant falsehoods circulated by Survival International.
13. It is indeed a tragedy that Survival International cannot fundraise in a legitimate and truthful manner.
14. It is important to note that almost the entire population of Basarwa or San living in Botswana is located outside the CKGR from Northern most tip of the country in Chobe District in the Zambezi basin through the Okavango Swamps to the extreme south of the country. This population numbers around 60 000 people.
15. Allegations have been made that the Basarwa and others living in the CKGR were relocated to make way for mining activities. At the moment there are no mining developments in the CKGR and at present none are planned. The only activities related to mining are the exploration of minerals which began in the 1960s covering the whole of Botswana.
16. Over the years there has been an oscillation of prospecting activity across the country, including in the CKGR. Between 10% and 70% of Botswana has over this period been approved for mineral prospecting, including Gaborone, the capital city and the CKGR and New Xade and Kaudwane themselves. About 1 400 new prospecting licenses have been issued since 1975 (excluding renewals). Out of this number, only a very small percentage has resulted in the discovery of actual mineral deposits. Of these, only smaller proportions are commercially viable in scale.
17. Currently, there are only 8 mines that are in production in the country - 4 diamond mines, 2 copper/nickel mines, 1 gold mine, 1 soda ash mine and 1 coal mine.
18. There is no mining at Gope or anywhere else in the CKGR. It must be noted that Gope is about 200 kilometres (124.3 miles) from Old Xade. It cannot be logical to move people because there are plans to undertake mining in a location some 200 kilometres (124.3 miles) away. In any case mining naturally attracts people and townships grow around mines. There is therefore no reason to suspect that in the case of Botswana mining will result in people being relocated.
19. Regarding the closure of sections of the CKGR, we state for the record that, the Reserve was closed because of a contagious disease, sarcoptic mange, which was identified in goats and sheep in the Reserve in July this year. The Reserve was closed on the 1st of September to:
* Quarantine and treat the disease which had broken out;
* Minimize the spread of disease in order to protect wildlife, domestic animals outside the Reserve, tourists and other humans within and outside the Reserve;
* Preclude further illegal resettlement in the Reserve;
* Combat poaching, a primary reason for the people returning to the Game Reserve;
* Prevent the cultivation of crops;
* Prevent other illegal activities, such as the use of unlicensed radios.
20. In the closure 22 police officers and 50 wildlife officers were involved to implement movement restrictions, removal of livestock and combat poaching around the 52 000 sq km area of the CKGR.
21. The District Commissioner in Ghanzi addressed all settlements on the 11th and 12th of September to inform residents that all livestock had to be removed from the Reserve within 14 days. All livestock was eventually removed from the Reserve on the 3rd and 4th of October and quarantined in New Xade and Kaudwane for a further 30 days, where they are under the care of wildlife officers.
22. Several people requested to be returned to New Xade and Kaudwane settlements, which was facilitated on the 7th and 8th of October when all of the residents of Molapo and most of the residents in Metsiamanong left the Reserve. The residents of Mothomelo thereafter left the Reserve for Kaudwane as well.
23. All of this was captured on video, clearly showing that people were not moved out at gunpoint as alleged in some quarters. The only people currently residing in the Game Reserve are at Gugamma and Metsiamanong, some belonging to the group that never left the Reserve.
24. The Reserve remains closed for the times being as there are still a number of domestic animals that have not been accounted for.
25. During the operation one incident took place at Mothomelo. In this incident one wildlife officer was injured when police and wildlife officers attempted to search a compound where signs of poaching had been observed. The attackers were subsequently arrested.
26. As for the recent arrest near New Xade, a small number of people, instigated and incited by Roy Sesana and Jumanda Gakelebone, held a demonstration at New Xade on Saturday 24th September 2005 with intent to force their way into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).
27. The demonstration in New Xade which attracted no more than 35 people was lawful and their right, hence the police allowed it to proceed. What was unlawful and the police could not allow was an attempt by the demonstrators to forcibly enter the Game Reserve.
28. The police spent a considerable amount of time warning the demonstrators that their attempt to force their entry into the Reserve was unlawful, appealing to them to return to New Xade. Through all this the demonstrators, who carried placards and had radical messages written on their six 4 by 4 vehicles, were unremittingly hurling insults and verbal abuse at the police. They also displayed threatening behaviour towards the police. Many times they attempted to break through the roadblock manned by the police and drive into the Reserve.
29. The police, for their part exercised patience and great restraint through all the provocation, repeatedly warning the demonstrators that their activities were illegal and urged them to cease them and return to New Xade. When the police would not let them enter the Reserve, the demonstrators broke into a riot and attacked the police with an assortment of weapons.
30. In order to maintain law and order, the police were forced to fire three rubber bullets, one of which hit and injured one of the demonstrators.
31. The demonstrators, including Roy Sesana and Jumanda Gakelebone, fled into the bush, but all were intercepted and arrested. All 21 persons arrested were taken before a Magistrate and have been released on bail.
32. It should be noted that the 7 children and their mothers who were brought along by the demonstrators were never arrested.
33. The position of the Government on this matter is a simple one. While the events of 24/09/2005 are a matter for regret, all are subject to the law and will obey it, including FPK. The issues on the case of the Bakgalagadi and Basarwa as presented are whether they have a right to uncontrolled entry into the Reserve, to permanent residence in villages in it, to hunting within it, to keeping livestock and to cultivating land inside the Reserve, and to Government providing them with social and relief services within the Reserve, are currently pending a decision of the High Court. The Applicants who have brought the matter before the High Court must, therefore, await its decision and not take the law into their own hands, for that is not only unlawful, it also undermines the authority of the very Court to which they have gone to seek relief.
34. The Government will, as always before, honour the decision of the Court, whatever it may be. Applicants in the Court case must remember that a decision by the High Court is delayed with every adjournment they seek to afford them time to raise funds. Until the Court gives its judgment on the matter, the Government will continue to do its duty to enforce the law as it understands it to be.
35. Unlawful activity by FPK and their friends, local and foreign, will not, whatever the excuse for it, be tolerated.
36. There are also reports of some person who was shot by the Police. We wish to state for the record that the person was shot in the thigh in Kaudwane when he resisted police attempts to arrest him for rape charges.
37. Reports that Government is denying people in the reserve access to drinking water are also untrue and misleading. The fact of the matter is that one of the applicants in the main case brought an urgent application attempting to prevent the Government from removing domestic animals from the Reserve and requesting the restitution of a permit for one of the Applicants to bring water into the Reserve.
38. This permit was suspended because of the closure of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the abuse by the holder of its conditions. However Government is willing to restore it if he undertakes to abide with the conditions of the permit. The matter has been heard before the Court and the Court will rule on the application on the 26th of October 2005. Thank you for your attention and we will now take questions.
E 2) 25/10/05: Inaccurate reporting by BTV and BOPA
This Office notes with some concern that last night's BTV news falsely reported that H.E. the President would, among other things, be visiting a wine estate while on his State Visit to South Africa. No such visit scheduled. Given that H.E. the President's full schedule was presented at last Friday afternoon's special briefing on the visit, which members of the travelling press attended, we can find little excuse for the inaccuracy contained in last night's report.
Further to the above we also take exception to the page 3 article that appeared in last Friday's edition of the Daily News, entitled "Mogae on state visit to SA", which went further to mis-report that the "Botswana delegation would taste wines before Mogae addresses the South African Parliament in the afternoon."
We can only conclude from the above that the BOPA report was based on an earlier, unconfirmed and therefore unofficial, programme draft as such a visit had at one point been on the proposed itinerary this Office had received from South Africa, but had subsequently rejected. It was to avoid just such confusions that we had advised BOPA to hold off on any detailed reporting about the President's trip until after Friday's briefing.
Contrary to the BOPA report, but consistent with what was communicated at last Friday's briefing, and also in Saturday's general press circular, H.E. the President is expected to join other members of his delegation in touring Robben Island tomorrow before proceeding to Parliament.
E 3) 26/10/05: State Visit to South Africa (update)
Yesterday H.E. the President, Festus Mogae, along with other members of his delegation went to Tuynhuys, where they were received by H.E. President Mbeki of South Africa. After a formal welcoming ceremony the two Presidents met, while their ministers and officials engaged in parallel talks. After the talks six bilateral agreements were signed:
1. Memorandum of Understanding on Health
2. Memorandum of Understanding on Sports and Recreation.
3. Agreement of Cooperation in the Fields of Agriculture and Livestock.
4. Memorandum of Understanding between Local Government Authorities.
5. Memorandum of Understanding on the Upgrading of the Road Infrastructure Development Initiative.
6. Agreement on Arts and Culture.
Thereafter, the two leaders briefed the media. Later in the afternoon, the President met with the Premier of the Western Cape Province, Mr. Ebrahim Rasool. In the evening, the President, along with other members of their delegation returned to Tuynhuys for a State Banquet in their Honour hosted by H.E. President and Mrs. Mbeki.
This morning, the President and other members of the delegation are touring Robben Island. Thereafter, in the afternoon, from 14:00, President Mogae will address the South African Parliament.
This evening, the President is scheduled to participate in a Botswana investment forum organised by the High Commission in cooperation with BEDIA at Table Bay Hotel.
Other aspects of the President's schedule for today tbc. Reproduced below are sample press reports from 1) SAPA, 2) Prensa Latina and 3) SABC.
E 4) 26/10/05: Communiqué on the State Visit to South Africa of H.E. President Festus G Mogae, 24 to 27 October 2005.
1. At the invitation of HE President Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa, President Festus Mogae of the Republic of Botswana visited South Africa from 24 to 27 October 2005, for his first State Visit to South Africa since his election as President of Botswana in 1998.
2. President Mogae was accompanied by Mrs B Mogae, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Lt Gen M Merafhe, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr B Gaolathe, two Assistant Ministers, Mr F Ramsden and Mrs M Mbaakanyi, Botswana's High Commissioner to South Africa, HE Mr MKJ Masisi and other senior officials.
3. President Mbeki was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South Africa's High Commissioner to Botswana, Ms EVG Komane, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr M Mpahlwa, Minister of Correctional Services, Mr N Balfour, Minister of Agriculture, Ms T Didiza, Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Mr S Mufamadi, Minister of Education, Ms N Pandor, Minister of Transport, Mr J Radebe, Minister of Health, Dr M Tshabalala-Msimang, Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr P Jordan, and senior Government officials.
4. President Mbeki welcomed President Mogae and his delegation to South Africa, and reiterated South Africa's commitment to close fraternal relations with Botswana. Discussions were held in a friendly and constructive manner. Both parties noted with satisfaction the excellent relations between the two countries. President Mbeki recalled his state visit to Botswana in March 2003, during which he was given a singular honour of addressing Botswana's Parliament. President Mbeki once again thanked Botswana for this meaningful gesture.
5. The Heads of Delegation reaffirmed their intention to work towards further strengthening bilateral relations, as well as to intensify the close co-operation between the two countries for the future well-being of both their peoples, and for the benefit of the African continent as a whole.
6. The Heads of Delegation noted that while relations have been cordial between the two countries since South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, the signing of the Agreement on the Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation (JPCC) in 2003 laid the legal and institutional framework to consolidate and deepen the bilateral relations.
7. The parties noted that since the establishment of the JPCC, agreements on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and in the Field of Science and Technology Co-operation had been signed. The parties further noted with appreciation and satisfaction the signing of the following six agreements, Agreement on Co-operation in the field of Agriculture, Aeronautical Search and Rescue Agreement, Sports and Recreation Agreement, Agreement in the field of Arts and Culture, Memorandum of Understanding on Health Matters and Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation between Local Government Authorities. The parties further noted that the signing of the six agreements would enhance co-operation between the respective departments/ministries in various fields including agriculture, health, local government, sports, culture and transport.
8. The Heads of Delegation noted the report of the Ministerial meeting, which reported on progress in the following areas:
* Economic issues
* Social issues
* Local government
* Security and stability
* Strategic Foreign Policy issues.
9. The two parties committed themselves to the full implementation of the Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation and all the signed bilateral agreements.
10. President Mbeki expressed South Africa's pleasure at Botswana's taking over chair of Southern African Development Community (SADC) at the summit in August 2005. He further indicated that South Africa looked forward to Botswana's leadership, and assured Botswana of South Africa's support in key issues identified by President Mogae in his acceptance speech at the summit.
11. The two Heads of Delegation renewed their commitment to actively participate in programmes and mechanisms of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as the basis for the development of the continent.
12. The parties discussed regional and multilateral developments, in particular the reform of the United Nations institutions. The two Heads of Delegation agreed to continue collaborating closely in their efforts in these matters.
13. President Mogae expressed Botswana's appreciation of the role South Africa was playing in conflict resolution on the continent, in countries such as Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Cote d' Ivoire.
14. President Mogae thanked President Mbeki and his government and people of South Africa for the invitation for the State Visit and for the generous hospitality accorded to him, Mrs Mogae and his delegation throughout their stay in South Africa.
E 5) Additional notices and forwarding from 23-29/10/05:
* 24/10/05: Latest on Ladies Detective Agency television drama.
* 24/10/05: "Mbeki to host Botswana Counterpart".
* 26/10/05: President Mogae's speech to the South African Parliament, initial media comment.
* 26/10/05: "Teeling upbeat on Botswana diamond find."
* 27/10/05: "Santos sign Botswana striker" (Dipsy Selowane)
NB: Journalists and other interested members of the public seeking official information and comment on the circumstances surrounding the voluntary resettlement of Botswana citizen outside of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) are advised in the first instance to contact the Director of the Public Relations, Research and Information Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Cliff Maribe, at Tel: (267) 3600763 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further background information online you may also wish to browse http://www.gov.bw/basarwa/index.html .