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Reset agenda for better Botswana-President Masisi

22 May 2022

The Reset Agenda envisions a Botswana that is effective with proper working infrastructure and systems; with a citizenry that has globally competitive skills, and is attractive to international investors and experts.

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said this when addressing Switzerland-based Batswana here on Saturday. President Masisi said he would use his tenure in office to improve Botswana's physical infrastructure and social development in order to make the country more efficient.

“When we speak of a transition to a knowledge-based economy; of a mindset reset, we are planning to make our country more efficient. Geneva and Switzerland are host to more than 200 international organisations because systems here work... the physical infrastructure, the transport system, the road network, the telephony, the water, the general ambiance works.

If we were to make Gaborone that effective we could also attract investment and foreign expertise to our country,” he said. He added that government valued the lives of Batswana and that the country could be better served by Botswana with a bigger population and higher standards of living in line with the Vision 2036 ideal of transitioning from middle income to high income status.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic started we prioritised saving lives and invested public funds into prevention of the spread of the virus and in vaccine procurement. This was because we felt we are too small a population to allow disease to wipe us out,” the President said.

In addition, Dr Masisi said the purpose of his travel to Switzerland was about engaging the international community with a view to building partnerships that would benefit the country and improve the livelihood of ordinary Batswana.

The President said he had honoured the invite of the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus and the two had held candid discussions on how Botswana could benefit from WHO technical expertise to improve the country’s health system.
Dr Masisi said addition to officially opening the Chancery of Botswana’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and Embassy to Switzerland, he would proceed to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, also in Switzerland.

He said he had used the WEF before to network with fellow world leaders as well as captains of industry, citing the recent Forbes30 under 30 Summit held in Botswana as one positive outcome from his previous visits to Davos.

“I came to engage with the private sector to seek investment for Botswana. I am a President in a hurry to get things done, I have engaged at Davos before with entrepreneurs such as Will Marshall, founder of Planet Labs, whose company produces many small satellites, launched as a cluster and provide many high resolution images of the entire planet daily. I have told him I want that type of ingenuity in Botswana, and we need to engage Batswana with creative minds,” he said.

He praised Batswana based abroad, including WHO Director in the Office of the Director General, Dr Shenaaz El Halabi and WHO Director for Africa Dr Matshediso Moeti, who both attended the occasion, for being good representatives of Botswana to the world through their professional work and good conduct.

The President said he wanted to see more Batswana take up posts in international organisations, something he said he had communicated to WHO head Dr Ghebreyesus on Saturday.
 Botswana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and Ambassador to Switzerland, Dr Athalia Molokomme reported that Batswana in Switzerland and neighbouring states were serving diligently in their duties. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GENEVA

Event : Masisi addressing Switzerland-based Batswana

Date : 22 May 2022