Republic of Botswana (17/12/05)
TAUTONA TIMES no 45 of 2005 The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Our ability to achieve a more united Development Community was never conceived as something that could be dictated from the top. It has always been dependent on our own people seeing for themselves that the advantages of achieving greater unity outweigh any challenges posed by such an evolution. " - President Mogae [D1]
A. Maru ga se pula
B. Press Schedule
C. The Week That Was
D. Statements by: 1) H.E. the President at the opening of the 19th SADC Parliamentary Forum Plenary Assembly.
2) H.E. the President and incoming envoys of Zimbabwe, Finland, Greece and Cyprus, at this week's credentials ceremony.
3) The Hon. Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration at the opening of a Course on Defence and Security Management.
E. OP Press Office Notices:
1) H.H. the Vice President responds to letter by Mr. Roy Sesana
2) H.E. the President receives "40 Years of Democracy in Botswana"
3) Additional notices and forwarding
F. Other voices also in the media:
1) "An open letter to Vice President Ian Khama" by Roy Sesana
2) "Ditshwanelo Director awarded prestigious
Chevalier de Ordre National du Merite"
3) Business Day: "Botswana's increasing independence over its diamonds."
4) BOPA: "Botswana may open another diamond mine"
A. Maru ga se pula
"I think this issue could have been long resolved. The problems came only because people come and put themselves in front of us and started fighting for power to represent us even though we are there and ready to talk for ourselves. People like that now have to go back and give us a chance to direct our words to any concerned and responsible person in any CKGR negotiations." - Mr. Roy Sesana
Welcome to this week's addition, which includes an open letter addressed to his Honour the Vice President by Mr. Roy Sesana of the First People of the Kalahari organisation [full text F 1], along with a Press Release from this Office summarising the content of His Honour's letter in response [E 1].
The door to this Office has all along been open to Mr. Sesana and others for discussions. As previously noted in TT 43, ideally a management plan for the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR), which provides for sustainable benefits to local communities, as well as the nation as a whole, should have been long finalised. But, progress has been blocked by the ongoing case before the High Court, which was not initiated by Government, and thus can not be withdrawn by Government. As long as the case remains before the Court, Government shall remain legally barred from undertaking any actions that would have the effect of prejudging its outcome.
Government's view has also all along been that it would be ideal if, as was the case in the past, discussions about the status of the CKGR were held directly between Government and members of the affected community, including Mr. Sesana. In this context we concur with the sentiment, now seemingly also being voiced by Mr. Sesana, that this is a matter better resolved without the undue interference, much less blackmail tactics, of people who have no genuine stake in either the matter itself or our wellbeing as a nation. Di tsa bana ba mpa ga di tsenwe.
Further to the above, this Government has at all times accepted that Mr. Sesana and other affected stakeholders are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. In this context we look forward to any further proposals Mr. Sesana may have.
****** Contrary to the impression being created by some, neither H.E. neither the President, nor anyone else Government, intends to change the name of the local currency, the Pula. This latest misconception began with an offhand comment by His Excellency, during a courtesy call by Bishop Mashaba two weeks ago, to the effect that it might have been better had the a different name been originally chosen. This was in the context of a casual discussion between the two on blessings. That an exaggerated account in the Daily News has incited even more exaggerated comment and concern in some quarters is therefore unfortunate. As it is this President's pula worries are focused on the Gaborone Dam; since the introduction of the crawling peg mechanism earlier this year the currency has been stable.
****** As this will be the last full issue of TT for the year we wish all our readers a happy festive season and best wishes for a constructive and productive 2006! Pula!
- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (17/12/05)
Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795. Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. 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 (20/12/05): In the afternoon, at 13:00, H.E. the President will depart for Dar es Salaam, in order to attend the inauguration of the fourth President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Wednesday (21/12/05): In the afternoon H.E. the President will return from Tanzania [arrival time tbc].
Thursday (22/12/05): In the afternoon, at 16:00, H.E. the President will meet with Mr. Ira Magaziner of the William J. Clinton Foundation, at the Office of the President.
C. OP Press coverage for the week ending 18/12/05:
Tuesday (13/11/05): In the morning H.E. the President opened the 19th Plenary Assembly SADC Parliamentary Forum [D 1]. At noon he met with the European Union Director Mr. Eric Hendriksson, who is responsible for the Horn of Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa, as well as the Indian Ocean and Pacific, in the European Commission Directorate-General for Development. In the afternoon there was a diplomatic credentials ceremony at State House [D 2].
Friday (16/12/05): In the afternoon, H.E. the President received a courtesy call from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana, Prof. Bojosi Otlhogile, who was accompanied by Dr. Zibani Maundeni, Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the University and Coordinator of its Democracy Research Project, and Dr. Marc Meinardus, resident director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation [E 2]. He also received a Special Envoy of the Republic of Sudan, H.E. Mr. Bona Malwal, who delivered a message from H.E. the Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed El Bashir.
D 1) 13/12/05: ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 19th SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM PLENARY ASSEMBLY
[Salutations]...Fellow SADC citizens,
1. On behalf of the Government and people of Botswana, and, indeed, on my own behalf, let me begin by welcoming those of you who have come from outside our country to attend this the 19th Plenary Assembly of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum. We are honoured to be able to host this important gathering here in Gaborone. Besides serving as our capital, this city is also the home of the SADC Secretariat. We thus share this city with you. I therefore trust that you shall all feel very much at home here.
2. It is especially appropriate that this Assembly should be convened here during SADC's Silver Jubilee year. A few months ago we were also privileged to host the Summit of Heads of State and Government, at which those attending recommitted themselves to realising the vision of SADC's founders. I am confident that this Assembly will also serve to confirm to both our own people and the outside world that SADC is indeed moving forward.
3. Our ability to achieve a more united Development Community was never conceived as something that could be dictated from the top. It has always been dependent on our own people seeing for themselves that the advantages of achieving greater unity outweigh any challenges posed by such an evolution.
4. It is only by the consent of its citizens that SADC is able to serve as a vehicle for the realisation of our common interests. Yet, presently at the popular level many of our people remain reluctant in their recognition that as a region we ought to stand together, in order to more effectively compete in this world of global markets and instant communication.
5. This is a particular challenge for us politicians. It is not always easy for our own constituents see beyond their parochial concerns so as to appreciate the practical benefits of greater regional integration. In this context, the SADC Parliamentary Forum should continue to exercise its leadership in the promotion of wider perspectives.
6. Let me here acknowledge the useful role that this Forum has been playing since its inception in 1997. As a body you have been proactive in working towards greater regional consensus and capacity in such areas as gender equality, election monitoring and the struggle against the scourge of HIV/AIDS. In the process you have established common benchmarks for further progress.
7. Director of Ceremonies, the task of this forum is also manifest in the fact that SADC will only progress if the various protocols that have been collectively negotiated, and thus signed at the level of Heads of State and Government, are implemented. This often requires changes in domestic policy and legislation, which is the domain of you, our legislators.
8. In addition, the familiarization of elected representatives with regional instruments though this Forum has the added benefit of facilitating the harmonisation of domestic legislation with SADC declarations and protocols. This is all the more important given that, even in situations where member states have not as yet domesticated one or more of the protocols, there exists a legitimate expectation that any new legislation should not be formulated, which is in contradiction with them, the protocols.
9. Director of Ceremonies, at the time when it was decided to establish the Parliamentary Forum as a consultative body, it was not considered necessary for SADC to establish a regional parliament. There are those of you who now feel that the time has come to establish such a body. In this regard, I would like to acknowledge the courtesy calls paid by the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of this Forum to myself and other Heads of States and Government on the issue. You can be assured that during the remainder of my term of office as SADC Chairperson the matter shall be carefully considered. Be that as it may, and in the absence of such a transformation, there remains much scope for this Forum to continue to contribute to the realisation of SADC objectives.
10. It is heartening to learn that the new SADC Executive Secretary and the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum have already discussed ways of strengthening cooperation. I am further encouraged by the practical collaboration that has occurred between the Parliamentary Forum and the SADC Election Observer Mission, especially after the 2004 adoption of the SADC Principles and Guidelines for Democratic Elections.
11. I have no doubt that the SADC Election Observer Missions stand to benefit from the Forum's experience. In the case of my own country we are continuing to study the observations made by the Forum's mission to our last, 2004, general election. We, of course, appreciate their overall endorsement of our electoral processes as having been open and transparent, as well as free and fair.
12. Our common disappointment about the last election was the failure of more of our women to gain elective office. This failure stands in sharp contrast with the enormous strides women have been making in other areas of leadership in this country. Indeed, in a recent United Nation's Development Programme report, we were ranked sixteenth in the world in terms of the total percentage of females - at 35% - serving in leadership positions, such as senior officials and managers, as well as in Parliament; including our Attorney General, Governor of the Central Bank and Director of Public Prosecutions.
13. Director of Ceremonies, as I stated in my inaugural address upon becoming SADC Chairperson, there is an urgent need for us to move forward in implementing the 15 year Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). This Plan provides strategic direction, while committing us all to undertake programmes and activities aimed at achieving our long term goals of poverty reduction and employment creation.
14. If we are to realize these objectives, individual Member States must ensure that their policies are consistent with the RISDP, which again shall require legislative input.
15. As it is, the implementation of the RISDP remains a major challenge. In this regard, I can only reiterate that we all need to commit ourselves to ensuring adequate budgetary provisions for the implementation of the SADC agenda. We should, moreover, find innovative ways of financing SADC on a sustainable basis, lest we remain over-dependent on the development assistance of outsiders. Whilst we seek to assume greater responsibility for financing our own agenda, we should, nonetheless, also continue to strengthen our relations with our co-operating partners.
16. I am aware that amongst issues to be dealt with at this 19th Plenary Assembly is the consideration and approval of its second Strategic Plan for the Forum. I am pleased to learn that this Plan has taken account of both the RISDP and the Strategic Indicative Plan of the SADC Organ on Defence, Politics and Security Co-operation.
17. Director of Ceremonies, in summation, it remains my hope that this Forum will continue to serve as the voice of Parliamentarians, regularly presenting its findings to the SADC structures, including Summit meetings. I further hope that through the Forum's initiatives and proposals, our collective aspiration for a Southern Africa and ideals contained in our declarations, protocols and plans of action shall be advanced.
18. In conclusion, I wish you all a fruitful and successful conference and it is my singular pleasure to declare the 19th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum officially open. I thank you.
D 2) 13/12/05: Remarks by H.E. the President and incoming diplomatic envoys of the Republics of Zimbabwe, Finland, Greece and Cyprus at a Credentials Ceremony held at State House.
Please find below the statements made at a Credentials Ceremony held at State House by the incoming Ambassadors of the Republics of Zimbabwe (I), Finland (II) and Greece (III), and the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus (IV), along with the respective responses made to each by H.E. the President:
I. Republic of Zimbabwe
Ia. Remarks delivered by H.E. Thomas Mandigora, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Botswana on the occasion of the presentation of his letters of credence to H.E. Mr. Festus G. Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana:
1. Your Excellency, I have the honour on this occasion to convey to you greetings and personal best wishes from your brother and colleague, His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
2. Your Excellency, on behalf of the Government and People of Zimbabwe, I wish to pay tribute to the Government and People of Botswana for their unwavering and principled support for the liberation struggle, which brought about Zimbabwe's independence and freedom from the racist colonial regime in 1980. Driven by Sir Seretse Khama's vision of a liberated and free Southern Africa, it was natural that Botswana became one of the major supporters of Zimbabwe's liberation movements. Zimbabweans will forever cherish that solidarity from the people of Botswana. The people of Botswana paid a great price for supporting the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe and other countries in Southern Africa. We know that valuable lives of Batswana compatriots were lost in wanton Rhodesian raids into Botswana.
3. Zimbabwe and Botswana have always enjoyed good relations based on good neighbourliness and mutual respect since Zimbabwe gained its independence on 18 April 1980.
4. Your Excellency, I will work hard to further strengthen and broaden the bonds of friendship and co-operation that exist between our two countries during my tour of duty. The Joint commission for Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation has served our countries well. Through the Joint commission, our two countries have worked together to improve co-operation in such areas as trade and investment, agriculture, tourism, energy, transport and communications. I am committed to ensuring that we achieve the goals and objectives for which the framework of our bilateral cooperation was set up.
5. Zimbabwe regards Botswana as a very important trading partner in the SADC Region and on the continent. Botswana has also become an important investment destination for Zimbabwean companies, most of which have gone into joint venture projects with local business people. We should work hard to encourage this. It will become easier to attract foreign direct investment when our own entrepreneurs demonstrate their confidence by investing in the region.
6. I will also work through the Botswana/Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security to improve the security and safety of all our citizens. Important issues of mutual concern have been dealt with successfully on this forum in the past. I am aware that security is one important factor that foreign investors and tourists consider before making a decision to invest in, or visit a country or region.
7. With these few remarks, Your Excellency, I have the honour to present the Letters of Recall of my predecessor, Mr. Phelekezela Mphoko, and the Letters of Credence accrediting me as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Republic of Botswana.
Ib. REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS G. MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ACCEPTING THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE OF THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE TO BOTSWANA, MR. THOMAS MANDIGORA:
1. Your Excellency, I am very pleased to accept the Letters by which H.E. Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe has appointed you as Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Botswana. I also accept your predecessor's Letters of Recall.
2. I wish first of all to thank you for kindly acknowledging Botswana's modest efforts in support of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle. Your struggle was our struggle. For as long as our neighbours were under colonial occupation, our own freedom could never be guaranteed.
3. Let me also commend Zimbabwe for the excellent role it played in support of the liberation efforts soon after it attained its independence. By supporting the liberation of other countries in the region, your country has paid in full, the debt of gratitude it owed to those who supported its own struggle.
4. I am very pleased to acknowledge the good relations that exist between our two countries. The Joint Permanent Commissions we have set up between our two countries have contributed enormously to the enhancement of our bilateral cooperation including defence. I am therefore pleased that you undertake to work in support of the goals and objective of our bilateral cooperation agreements.
5. As neighbours, it is logical that our interaction should cover as many fronts as it does. It was therefore inevitable that our two countries should set up a mechanism to facilitate our bilateral activities.
6. Your Excellency, we must challenge ourselves to enhance our bilateral trade relations. Although I am pleased to note that Zimbabwe is Botswana's second largest regional trading partner after South Africa, I have no doubt that there is still room for improvement. Similarly, as you rightly observed, there is scope for improvement of our cooperation in the field of investment.
7. In that regard, I am pleased to note that in 2001, our two countries concluded the Bilateral Treaty on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments between our two countries. Botswana has now concluded its internal consultations and we are ready to sign the Treaty. I hope that you will facilitate early conclusion of the Treaty between our two countries.
8. Finally, Your Excellency, let me welcome
you to Botswana and assure you that during your
stay, you will be amongst your own people,
Batswana. You are therefore assured of our
fullest support and friendship during your tour
of duty. I wish you success in your assignment.
II. Republic of Finland
IIa. Remarks by H.E. Mr. Heikki Tuunanen, ambassador of Finland to the Republic of Botswana at the ceremony for the Presentation of Credentials to His Excellency the President, Mr. Festus G. Mogae:
1. Your Excellency, it is a great pleasure and, indeed, an honour to me to present to you Mr. President the Letter of Credentials from the President of the Republic of Finland, Madame Tarja Halonen, accrediting me as the Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the Republic of Botswana.
2. I feel privileged for having been given this opportunity to serve my country in Botswana, in a country which is a symbol and a shining example of stable democracy, respect for human rights, sustainable economic and social development and the rule of law in Africa.
3. The achievements of the Government and People of Botswana during the past decades are truly impressive. Your commitment to democracy has created a stable and predictable environment in your country. The consistent and rapid - one of the fastest in the world - economic growth has been turned into the well-being and empowerment of your people through excellent social services, for example in the fields of education and health.
4. We have always highly appreciated the constructive role that your country has played in the regional co-operation in southern Africa, in the framework of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other regional organisations. The very same applies to you country's role in the African Union as well as in the multilateral co-operation in the United Nations and other global forums.
5. Mr. President, the bilateral relations between our two countries and peoples are excellent, mutually rewarding and cover all walks of life.
6. Botswana is an active member in the Helsinki Process, an international forum, where governments, non-governmental organisations and the private sector work together. Helsinki Process is assessing the trends in the world of rapid globalisation and growing interdependence. Helsinki Process is also looking for ways and means to make globalisation a process that will have more equal and predictable impact on the development and life of various countries. My government highly appreciates the contribution of your country to this process. It was only three months ago that your Foreign Minister, Honourable Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe, participated in the Helsinki Conference in Finland, where the findings and recommendations of Helsinki Process were presented to the international community.
7. Botswana is also a member of this forum, where Foreign Ministers from ten African and five Nordic Countries meet frequently in order to assess the developments in Africa and to enhance the co-operation between these countries in international issues.
8. Trade between our two countries has been growing steadily. It may not all be seen in the direct trade statistics between our two countries, since a large part takes place via third countries, as it increasingly happens in the globalised world economy. But, the rapid and sustainable economic growth in your country together with free trade in the Southern African Customs Union and the new free trade arrangements in the entire Southern Africa mean, also, that the Finnish industries increasingly assess the opportunities to invest in Botswana.
9. Co-operation between non-governmental organisations and civil societies in our two countries has been increasing steadily. A number of projects are ongoing and new ones are under preparation. I would like to take this opportunity and express to you, Mr. President my most sincere appreciation for your kind presence in the inauguration ceremonies of the School for the Deaf in Maun last September, a great example of co-operation between civil societies of our two countries.
10. The exchange in the field of culture has been increasing as well. It was only a few weeks ago that the exhibition of Botswanan art was opened in Helsinki with the presence of the artists, whose works were displayed for Finnish audience. It goes without saying that the exhibition attracted a lot of visitors in my country and it was a great success.
11. Mr. President, co-operation between our
two countries cover many fields. A lot has been
achieved during the last few decades. But there
are still a lot of opportunities to be explored
and to be promoted in our bilateral relations
and for our mutual benefits. Let me assure you
Mr. President, that in discharging my duties I
will spare no efforts to ensure that good
relations between our two governments and
peoples will further diversify and grow. Thank
you Mr. President.
IIb. REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ACCEPTING THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE OF THE AMBASSADOR - DESIGNATE OF FINLAND HE Mr. HEIKKI TUUNANEN.
1. I am pleased to accept the Letters by which Her Excellency Madam Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland has appointed you Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the Republic of Botswana.
2. Your Excellency let me first of all thank you for acknowledging Botswana's democracy, observance of human rights and for its provision of social services to citizens. We are confident that the stability we have enjoyed since our independence thirty nine years ago is to a large measure the outcome of our democratic traditions.
3. During your tour of duty, you will no doubt appreciate the challenges we face as a nation. Amongst the problems we face are HIV/AIDS , the urgent need to diversify our economy, the oil crisis and the cycles of drought that have often compelled us to revise our development agenda. We therefore have no doubt that Finland and other European Union partners will be mindful of our constraints in the allocation of development resources.
4. Let me take this opportunity to thank Finland for its contribution to our development efforts. Although Finland's support might not be too evident, the loans Botswana has received from the Nordic Investment Bank and the Nordic Development Fund, of which Finland is a member, have been used for our vital infrastructure projects.
5. Amongst the projects are the Morupule Power Plant, Botswana Telecommunications, Molepolole - Mochudi Ground Water Exploration and the Trans Kgalagadi Highway. On other fronts, Finland's support to SADC projects has been of benefit to Botswana as a member of the regional organization.
6. In September this year, I had the pleasure of attending the inauguration ceremony of the School for the Deaf in Maun. The support that school received from Finland's non-governmental organizations is an example of your country's outstanding record of compassion towards fellow members of the human race. Once again I thank the Government and the people of Finland for their much needed support to the less privileged members of our society.
7. Your Excellency, as you rightly pointed out, Botswana is an active participant in the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy. We do so because we are firmly convinced that the forum addresses issues that are of critical importance not only to Botswana as a developing nation, but also to the entire human family. You can therefore be assured of our country's fullest support to your commendable initiative.
8. Finally, we are deeply grateful that Botswana has been nominated as a recipient of the Finnish Quality Travel Award. The award which we will receive in January 2006 is a tremendous boost to our efforts to promote Botswana's outstanding tourism product. We look forward to welcoming many more of your tourists to Botswana.
9. Your Excellency I welcome you to Botswana and wish you a successful tour of duty.
III. Republic of Greece
IIIa. Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Aristides Sandis at the Presentation of Credentials to the President of the Republic of Botswana, H.E. Mr. Festus G. Mogae:
1. Mr. President, since its independence in 1966 the Republic of Botswana has earned our admiration and deep respect. It 40 year uninterrupted flourishing multi-party parliamentary democracy and its social and economic stability, along with the prevalence of rule of law, good governance and the safeguard of human rights, compose one of the greatest success stories in the annals of the African Continent.
2. We in Greece three thousand years ago have invented democracy. Your nation has for forty years been a model of democracy in Africa. Greece, a member of the European Union and NATO has long been an oasis of freedom and prosperity in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean. Botswana has also been an example of peace, stability, law and order and freedom for the whole Continent. And we both steadfastly adhere to the same principles and values.
3. Aside from Botswana's remarkable domestic achievements, your presence in the international arena and your voice in multilateral fora are very much respected. We highly appreciate your stabilizing influence in the region and commend you on your dedicated engagement and constructive role in the framework of the African Union, the SADC, the Pan African Parliament and other regional initiatives.
4. Our bilateral political relations, as also reflected by our fruitful cooperation in international for a, are excellent. For my part I shall endeavour to ensure that they further expand in all domains of human activity.
5. We welcome the designation of your Permanent representative to the International Organisations in Geneva as your Ambassador to Greece. This development will undoubtedly contribute to the strengthening of the bonds between our two countries. We also appreciate the fact that you are proposing to appoint an honorary Consul in Athens. We are also contemplating naming an Honorary Consul in Gaborone.
6. The dynamic Greek community in Botswana, established many years ago, is an active human bridge firmly linking our two countries. We are very happy that they are welcomed here and that they are good, law abiding and useful citizens. We are also proud for their substantial contribution to the welfare and prosperity of the country.
7. Mr. President, I would like to assure you that I will spare no effort in fulfilling my task to the benefit of our bilateral relations and that in me the Batswana people will have a devoted friend and ardent admirer of their beautiful country.
8. In conclusion, I would like to express
the great honour, privilege and indeed personal
pleasure that I have in presenting to Your
Excellency my letter of credence as Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the
Hellenic [Greek] Republic to the Republic of
Botswana and the letter of recall of my
IIIb. REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ACCEPTING THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE OF THE AMBASSADOR OF GREECE MR. ARISTEDES SANDIS:
1. Your Excellency, I am very pleased to accept the Letters by which His Excellency President Karolos Papoulias has appointed you Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic of Greece to Botswana. I also accept the Letter of Recall of your predecessor.
2. As you have rightly mentioned, Botswana and Greece share a common tradition of multi-party democracy, social and economic stability and good governance, and observance of human rights. Although Greece has a much longer legacy of democracy, our young nation is equally committed to securing and entrenching democracy throughout the structures of our society. The context and experiences may be different, however the underlying principles and values are the same.
3. Your Excellency, let me also express appreciation for your acknowledgment of Botswana's economic and social achievements since our Independence in 1966. Every milestone we achieve has been matched by equally and daunting challenges. At present we have had to divert substantial financial and human resources to the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as addressing challenges of economic diversification and unemployment.
4. Botswana nonetheless, will continue to call upon traditional allies like Greece to render the necessary assistance in terms of skills development. As a member of the European Union, Greece is in a strong partnership with Botswana and other SADC countries. The SADC-EU partnership will unleash Africa's development potential and facilitate the integration of Africa into the global economy.
5. The Greek community in Botswana has established itself as active members of the local business community. I trust that our small enterprises do benefit from their interaction with your illustrious nationals. In the area of tourism development, there is a lot of scope for collaboration between our two countries. Botswana has in place a very ambitious strategy to propel tourism to one of the main generators of foreign exchange.
6. Your Excellency, I am grateful for your offer to continue to strengthen bilateral relations such that they yield tangible and beneficial results for both our countries.
7. I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the successful hosting of the Olympic Games by Greece last year. The Olympics are a true expression of human solidarity and indeed a legacy that Greece has given to the world through successive generations of sports men and women.
8. Once again, I welcome you to Botswana and
extend my best wishes for a pleasant and
IV. Republic of Cyprus
IVa. Accreditation Statement by H.E. Mr. Costas Leontiou, high Commissioner of the Republic of Cyrus on the presentation of his letters of credence to H.E. Mr. Festus G. Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana:
1. Your Excellency, I have the honour and privilege to present to you the Letters of Credence with which the President of the Republic of Cyprus has appointed me as the first high commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the Republic of Botswana.
2. I have been entrusted with the important task of strengthening even further our excellent relations, which have been recently sealed with the formal establishment of diplomatic relations. Cyrus and Botswana have been co-operating within the framework of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other international for a in a spirit of amity and mutual respect and understanding.
3. Cyrus full accession to the European Union as from May 2004 will affect and influence positively the solid ties binding traditionally and historically our States both on the bilateral and bi-regional levels, explicitly between the EU and SADC.
4. We appreciate your achievements, especially in the field of good governance. We are also aware of the challenges you face and the enormous efforts you make in this respect.
5. I take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for Botswana's constant support, for lasting and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem. Since July 1974 we have been struggling with consistency to prove that the fate of Cyprus does not lie in division and partition. We have made great efforts to pursue a peaceful solution and an honourable compromise.
6. The Aquis Communitaire and the anachronistic fait accompli imposed manu militari by occupying force are in complete disharmony.
7. Our vision is a united Cyprus with bi-zonal and bi-communal federal structures providing security and prosperity to all its inhabitants, to Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, with the safeguarding of Human rights and freedoms.
8. Your Excellency, Permit me in presenting
these letters of Credence, to convey to you a
warm message of friendship from President Tassos
Papaopoulas and to express our most sincere
wishes for the health and prosperity to Your
Excellency, the Government and people of
IVb. REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. FESTUS MOGAE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ACCEPTING THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER OF REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS MR. COSTAS LEONTIOU:
1. Your Excellency, I am very much pleased to accept the letters by which His Excellency President Tassos Papadopoulos has appointed you as the High Commissioner to Botswana.
2. I take particular pleasure in receiving you as the first High Commissioner of Cyprus to Botswana. Your appointment, which comes shortly after the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in May of this year, signifies the importance your country attaches to building mutually beneficial relations between Botswana and Cyprus. Please convey our gratitude to your Government for its goodwill and determination to cement and enhance relations with my country.
3. Your Excellency, may I thank you for the kind words of acknowledgment of the strides Botswana has made in the area of democracy and good governance. Let me assure you of my country's commitment to nurturing and strengthening the democratic systems that have become part of our identity as a people.
4. As you have rightly noted we are not without enormous developmental challenges, key amongst them, the fight against HIV/AIDS, poverty alleviation, economic diversification and drought.
5. We are, however, optimistic that these challenges can be resolved with the support of countries like your own. Cyprus acceded to the European Union on 1st May 2004. As signatories to the Cotonou Agreement cooperation between our two countries will go from strength to strength and extend to virtually all areas of human endeavour.
6. Your Excellency Botswana would like to pledge support for the United Nations efforts towards sustainable resolution of the Cyprus-Turkey issue. Botswana has also been a strong proponent of the respectful for the territorial integrity of states. In this regard we give our full support to the efforts of the UN towards the reunification of the island of Cyprus. We intend to collaborate with Cyprus to advance issues of mutual interest at the Commonwealth, United Nations and other international fora.
7. I have no doubt that your Excellency would support and be an advocate for Botswana's development efforts. There is a lot we can learn from your well developed horticultural and textile sectors, and are eager to learn lessons on how to attract and retain foreign direct investments in the economy.
8. Yours is a very onerous task of building bilateral relations from their infancy and I have no doubt that your Government trusts you to pioneer cooperation with Botswana and the rest of the SADC region.
9. Your Excellency, let me once again
welcome you to Botswana and wish you success in
you tour of duty.
D 3) 12/12/05: SPEECH BY THE HON. MINISTER FOR PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, MR PHANDU T.C. SKELEMANI, AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE EXECUTIVE COURSE ON DEFENCE AND SECURITY MANAGEMENT, HELD AT CENTRE FOR CONTINUING EDUCATON, UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA.
[Salutations]...Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. It is my singular honour and privilege to have been invited to officiate at the opening of the Executive Course on Defence and Security Management. Allow me to begin my remarks by congratulating the Centre for Strategic Studies of the University of Botswana, together with its regional partners, for organizing this event. I am convinced that this kind of course does not only enable the Centre to provide a service to the community but that the Centre itself will benefit from various ideas from the participants coming from the wider community.
2. I understand that the objectives of the course are: a) To enhance conceptual, theoretical and management skills of leaders in the defence sector for both civilian and military personnel; b) To explore key issues in defence and civil relations; and c) To provide an environment in which key players in the Botswana Security Sector interact in a structural way in order to develop the basis for common security.
3. Distinguished participants, given the turmoil that post independence Africa has lived through, and the demands imposed upon small countries like ours by the phenomenon of globalization, I believe a course of this nature is long overdue.
4. Managerial skills which your course seeks to impart to the participants are key to the success of any organization, including the military. Many of the military coupes, which until recently haunted post independence Africa, were carried out on the pretext that governments of the day were failing to manage the affairs of the State properly. Unfortunately, as we are all no doubt aware, those who staged the coupes tended to be junior in rank with no requisite managerial skills themselves. The result was that instead of improving the fortunes of their countries many military regimes only succeeded in aggravating the problems. Elsewhere around the World, history is replete with incidences of failure in management which resulted in unnecessary but devastating bloody conflicts or wars.
5. Equally important to the stability of the state or organization Director of Ceremonies, are the relations between various stakeholders. In successful countries or organisations each stakeholder is clear about the role to play and understands that for the organization to function properly each stakeholder should effectively and efficiently play their role.
6. Distinguished participants, it is important to note that where these factors are lacking, mistrust and opportunities for conflict have tended to increase among various stakeholders. Many of Africa's conflicts can be attributed to these problems. Our Southern African region has been largely spared some of the conflicts which afflicted the rest of the Continent, and I believe that was because various stakeholders in the running of the affairs of the state were clear about their roles and also did their best to play by the rules agreed on. It is heartening that Botswana is one of the four countries that can be proud of this exemplary conduct.
7. Increasingly the phenomenon of globalization is imposing a common value system as well as challenges, on countries which neither their own citizens nor external factors would allow governments to ignore. A few years ago, for example, our own African Union took the decision to prohibit any government brought into power through unconstitutional means from participating in its programmes and meetings. The Union has since, strictly enforced this decision with countries such as Madagascar and Ivory Coast kept out of the African Union programmes until sufficient measures had been taken to restore civilian rule. This development did not take place due to a sudden change of heart on the part of some leaders, but because of domestic and external factors.
8. On a global scale, Director of
Ceremonies, the international community has not
only continued to respond to the emerging global
challenges, through developing appropriate
measures for dealing with such challenges, but
often finds itself caught up in acrimonious
debates over the definitions and interpretation
of already existing international instruments.
Unfortunately, some powers have used such
loopholes to act or interpret such agreements
arbitrarily. There are many instances whereby
arbitrary security measures have been imposed on
the international community by individual powers
in violation of the international humanitarian
9. Botswana has actively participated in this global debate in the past few years for example:
a) Botswana actively participated in the USA Government sponsored workshops on civil/military relations. I had the privilege of opening such a meeting only last August;
b) Government has with the involvement of various non-state actors started producing national reports on humanitarian international instruments such as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). I note that quite a few of the organizations represented at this workshop, also participated in the preparation of such reports. The preparation process provides opportunities for information sharing among stakeholders as well as for reviews on the country's performance;
c) Botswana participated actively in the process leading to the establishment of the International Criminal Court. I was privileged to lead the Botswana delegation. In recognition of its role, it became one of the few countries approached to avail a candidate for the post of Prosecutor-General; and
d) Our country has of course participated in many other international fora dealing with this subject.
10. Distinguished participants, I consider this workshop as an extension of the national debate already taking place in this country. However, as this workshop is organized by an academic institution, I can only urge you to push the level of your debate beyond the realm of the carefully structured governmental and intergovernmental meetings. We look forward to benefiting from the outcome of this workshop.
11. Distinguished participants, I wish once again to thank the Centre for Strategic Studies for affording me the opportunity to participate at the opening of this workshop. My thanks also go the Danish Government for the funding of the workshop. Le ka moso Bagetsho.
12. Director of Ceremonies, Distinguished participants, I wish you fruitful deliberations and I happily and formally declare this workshop officially open.
E OP PRESS OFFICE NOTICES & FORWARDING
E 1) 16/12/05: His Honour the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama responds to letter from Mr. Roy Sesana of the First People of the Kalahari.
This is to confirm that His Honour the Vice President has received and responded to a letter from Mr. Roy Sesana, leader of the First People of the Kalahari organisation. The same letter by Mr. Sesana has already been published in the local print media, e.g. Mmegi (14/12/05) and the Guardian (16/12/05).
In his response, His Honour the Vice President indicated Government's availability to discuss an amicable settlement to matters surrounding the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) issue, but that such discussions would be improper to conduct in a process parallel to the ongoing case before the High Court, as it could undermine the Court's authority.
It follows therefore that for such discussions to proceed the case before the court will have to be withdrawn and it is in this regard that His Honour the Vice President has invited proposals from Mr. Sesana on a possible way forward in order for discussions to take place.
E 2) 16/12/05: H.E. the President receives copy of book "40 Years of Democracy in Botswana"
This afternoon H.E. the President had the pleasure of receiving a courtesy call from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana, Prof. Bojosi Otlhogile, who was accompanied by Dr. Zibani Maundeni, Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the University and Coordinator of the Democracy Research Project, and Dr. Marc Meinardus, resident director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
The three gentlemen came to the Office of the President in order to formally present His Excellency with the publication "40 Years of Democracy in Botswana", which is a collection of studies that examines various aspects of politics and governance in Botswana. The book was edited by Dr. Maundeni as a joint publication by the Democracy Research Project and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Topics highlighted in the book include the role of leadership in ensuring Botswana's democratic stability, alternative electoral systems, voting trends, the organisation of political parties, and the role of various stakeholders such as civil society, youth and women in the political and electoral process.
During the meeting, H.E. the President voiced his appreciation of the collective effort that had gone into producing the publication. In the context of discussions about possible electoral reform he further indicated his own belief that any discussion of electoral reform should consider the need to reflect proportional representation in terms of gender.
E 3) Additional notices and forwarding for the week ending 18/12/05: * 12/12/05: Business Day: "Botswana licences 'undermine' DeBeers" (below) * 12/12/05: Visit by EU Director at OP noon Tuesday * 12/12/05: "Ditshwanelo Director Awarded Prestigious Chevalier de L'Ordre National du Merite." (below) * 14/12/05: SWA Radio: "A Day's life inside Botswana" * 14/12/05: Democracy Book handover Friday * 16/12/05: "Botswana, Zimbabwe sign deal on standardization systems."
F Other views in the news
The views expressed in the press reports reproduced below are not necessarily those of Government:
F1) "An open letter to Vice President Ian Khama" by Roy Sesana
[The following letter was received by the Office of the President via fax this week. It was also published in the local Mmegi (14/12/95) and Guardian (16/12/05) newspapers. See also E 1]
I am writing to you because I have heard rumours that there might be some people who would like to negotiate with you on the issue of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). I think I went to you twice to try to talk about the CKGR issue. At the time, all those people who now want to negotiate with you were not there.
If you do have interest in negotiations, or in talking about the CKGR issue, we, the CKGR community, the people affected by the issue are available. We have got mouths, ears and brains like each and every human being. Nowadays we do not want people to speak on our behalf. We want to speak for ourselves.
I think the government has to realise this: We have got the list of names of the people who have taken the government to court, who are the affected people. Those people who want to negotiate with you are not members of the CKGR community. They are not the affected people. They have not taken the government to court, so anything to be discussed about the CKGR has to be directed to the people of the CKGR who have taken the government to court.
We think now there is a lot of confusion in this matter where different people come out with different ideas of trying to solve the matter. We do not agree with all of those people. We think the matter will be resolved if, the Basarwa talk and an agreement is reached in our understanding.
That is the only way we can resolve this matter. With people talking on our behalf, we don't know what will be discussed and how it will affect us and we don't know what they are going to say. Your Honour, I think this issue could have been long resolved. The problems came only because people come and put themselves in front of us and started fighting for power to represent us even though we are there and ready to talk for ourselves. People like that now have to go back and give us a chance to direct our words to any concerned and responsible person in any CKGR negotiations.
We have been expecting help from you. The way your father handled matters that affect us make us to expect good help from you as you are now in the Cabinet. We think that you are just about to take the position that your father held. Your Honour, my chief, I Roy Sesana expect a good response from you.
F 2) 12/12/05: "DITSHWANELO DIRECTOR AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS CHEVALIER DE L'ORDRE NATIONAL DU MERITE"
DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights is pleased to announce that our Director, Alice Mogwe, was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite by The Republic of France on 8 December 2005. In presenting the award, H.E. Pierre Coulont, the Ambassador of France to Botswana, said the award is an honour to the Director and through her, the whole institution.
The ceremony at the Alliance Fran?aise, on Thursday 8 December 2005, was attended by the First Lady, Mrs Mogae, several Ambassadors and representatives of the government, churches, NGOs and other organisations. The French Embassy also provided a significant donation to support the work of DITSHWANELO.
This honour is bestowed on non-French nationals as a distinguished mark of respect for exceptional achievement. The Ambassador applauded all that Ms Mogwe has achieved as one of the first Motswana women activists, a founding member of Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) and a pioneer of Botswana's human rights movement. He stressed the immense importance of human rights and the Government of France's strong commitment to support those who work to protect these rights. He said that the honour was bestowed on Ms Mogwe for two main reasons:
- Firstly, Alice Mogwe defends the principles we share, in terms of defending the basic rights of the people and among them the weakest and the poorest
- And secondly, as a person of great quality, who has devoted her whole life in the service of her countrymen, whatever price it could cost
In accepting the honour, Ms Mogwe said she felt "extremely humbled" by the honour and went on to thank those without whom, she said, "none of the work in which I am engaged would be possible". She thanked her father - Ambassador Mogwe, who encouraged her to dream even when he disagreed with her; her husband - Mr Ruud Jansen, who was always ready to go the extra mile; the Patron of DITSHWANELO - His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Khotso Makhulu, and all the Board members of DITSHWANELO. She particularly noted that her school Maru a Pula had helped give her "the courage to know that it is possible to change the world" and taught her that "it was possible for people of different backgrounds, cultures, colour and creed to live together peacefully." She also recognised that her university experiences in Apartheid South Africa taught her to fight against what apartheid represented and "to work to prevent racism, exclusion and discrimination becoming an acceptable part of our lives in Botswana."
Ms Mogwe particularly thanked all the staff, volunteers, interns, supporters and friends of DITSHWANELO. She noted that although DITSHWANELO is "renown - or even notorious - for... work on the death penalty and Basarwa/San issues in Botswana, we also work on children's rights; monitor elections within Botswana and in the region; hold annual human rights film festivals; together with the Botswana Red Cross led to the establishment of BONELA (The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS); established LeGaBiBo (Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana); initiated the establishment of SAHRINGON (The Southern African Human Rights NGO Network - based in Zambia); and support the State in working towards meeting our collective obligations under the various international human rights instruments."
This wide-ranging work as well as her personal achievements have earned DITSHWANELO's Director, Ms Mogwe, the Medal of Chevalier. The award acknowledges the immense importance of what she described as her ongoing "quest to ensure that on a daily basis, at least one person realizes that they too have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and have a responsibility to treat others in a similar manner."
F3) From 12/12/05 edition of Business Day (South Africa): THE decision by the Botswana government to issue licences to two sightholders who already have another one in SA is likely to force De Beers to reconsider the way it is doing business.
Under De Beers' current regulations, a sightholder who has a licence in a diamond-producing country in southern Africa such as SA may not get a licence in another producing country such as Botswana and Namibia.
Analysts say the decision also marks Botswana's increasing independence over its diamonds. It is also in line with growing pressure from Botswana on De Beers to boost the southern African state's diamond share.
Botswana President Festus Mogae has said his country wants a greater return from its diamond industry.
The restriction to allow sightholders to have only one sight in a producer country has angered Botswana officials as it excludes De Beers' largest players with sights in SA, such as Safdico and Steinmetz, from investing in Botswana in return for rough.
Botswana is De Beers' largest supplier of rough diamonds and the biggest producer in the world by value. The decision announced late last week to hand out the licences undermines a list of potentials recently presented by De Beers following an exhaustive process that saw six candidates with no sight or allocation in southern Africa.
"This is a strong signal from Botswana that they are independently going to decide about the future of their own industry," said one industry source. "It is a very courageous move."
The granting of the licences highlights the power shift in diamond production in that country as the government moves to increase its independence from De Beers. Last year's negotiations with Botswana for the renewal of the Jwaneng and Orapa's 25-year leases, two of the most profitable diamonds in the De Beers portfolio, resulted in Botswana slashing its contribution to De Beers' profits from these mines. Previously, Botswana was believed to provide more than 70% of the profit within De Beers group diamond account.
De Beers also agreed to relinquish its London-based distribution system and move sorting and sales operations to the Botswana capital, Gaborone.
F 4) BOPA report published in the 13/12/05 edition of the Daily News (Botswana): "Botswana might open another diamond mine"
SEROWE - Botswana might open another mine and become an even larger diamond producing country, with the discovery of AK6 kimberlite in Letlhakane.
Minerals, energy and water resources minister Charles Tibone said at a full meeting of the Central District Council last Thursday that following the finding of AK6 kimberlite by De-Beers and a company called Africa Diamonds, the mineral sector will continue to play a major role in the economy of the country.
Tibone said diamonds were the mainstay of Botswana's economy but because they were not a renewable resource, it was important to diversify into other minerals.He described Botswana as a growing diamond producer since the discovery of many kimberlites, particularly in places such as the Central District and Orapa-Letlhakane areas.
He said Botswana was planning to be a centre of excellence for mineral production and processing. We want the whole world to know that whoever wants to extract minerals should learn something from Botswana, he said.
He also said countries such as Mozambique and Tanzania, Botswana could not run small mines because of sand cover. For instance, the mine discovered by De Beers in Tswapong, where there are diamond occurrences, is too small for operation but we need to deal with larger deposits, he said.
He said there has been an increased activity of copper/nickel mining at Selebi-Phikwe. Tibone stated that his ministry intended to export coal since 75 per cent of Botswana has coal deposits, some under heavy sand cover. Concerning the Mmamabula project, the minister said it was of great interest as some oil companies such as BP had even shown interest in it. The challenge we are now facing is how long it will last if we dig it, he said.
By 2007, South Africa would no longer be able to supply electricity to Botswana given the projected shortages in southern Africa. He lamented that instead of being an importer, Botswana can develop a coal mine and build a power station and supply South Africa with power. Because Mmamabula is nearer to South Africa, the connection from the power station will be easier, he said. He said the power station project -- expected to start soon -- would be funded by the United States.
Since we are facing a shortage of electricity, we need to expand the capacity of Morupule Power Station so that when there is a deficiency, we are able to sustain ourselves, he said. Tibone said Botswana and South Africa were still negotiating the concerned project and that a memorandum of understanding had been drafted, of which South Africa was still vetting into their system.
Regarding the coal-bed methane gas found along Mmashoro-Mosolotshane areas, Tibone said the gas could help in diversifying the economy away from diamonds. Investigations have been done and they have confirmed that the gas can be used in cylinders, cars and for power generation, he said.
End Notes: 1) Tautona Times; 2) Sources of Information on the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve
1) Tautona Times was launched in May 2003 as a means to communicate scheduling and additional matters to the media and other interested stakeholders. It now has a global e-circulation of several thousand and is freely available to any who wish to receive it. But, we have no wish to spam. Requests for cancellation will be promptly acted on, as will any complaints about such things as double mailings. For ease of downloading all e-mailed copies of TT are sent in plain text format WITHOUT ANY ATTACHMENTS. Back issues of TT, as well as electronic copies of His Excellency the President's speeches as from May 2003, are available on request.
2) Those seeking online information on the settlement of Botswana citizen outside of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) can browse www.gov.bw/basarwa/index.html. For further information one can also 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: email@example.com