2 October 2017

Botswana: 'Plan for Next 50 Years'

Gaborone — President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama says Botswana's achievements should act as baseline for its future developmental endeavours.

In his Independence Day message on September 30, President Khama said as the nation celebrated its progress over the past 51 years, it was also time to plan for the next 50 years.

He said consequently, Vision 2036 was launched last year which encapsulated Botswana's fundamental values and principles.

Talking about the theme, President Khama said it spelt continuity as it remained the same as that of the previous year, being United and Proud.

President Khama said while Botswana had attained great achievement, moving from being a poor, low income country to a middle income status, Batswana should not become complacent.

"We cannot afford to rest on our laurels based on past achievements. We need to do more to spring this country into the future. We have received accolades in terms of development indices, but we should not become complacent as a result of our success, but need to dig deep and inculcate that culture of resilience and hard work as reflected in the history of this nation at inception," he said.

Further, President Khama said the nation should reflect on some of the core values such as Botho that had built its society and reinvigorated them so it could progress and overcome some of the key challenges.

President Khama called upon Batswana not to let their differences divide the nation adding they have to find common denominators that should bring them together.

"Nation building is a continuous process. In this respect, all issues, bitter or sweet, should be able to assist us in our endeavours towards this noble cause of nation building. To this end, we should commend our people who offer essential services as well as our brand ambassadors such as our athletes, and others who represent us and fly our flag high in the international arena," he said.

He said as Batswana celebrated 50+1 years, it should be recalled that their values as a nation, starting from the pre-independence era, were premised on democracy and good governance as well as peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.

"Our norms of mutual respect, tolerance and a culture of consultation underlined by our Kgotla system have helped us nurture our peace and democracy. Sustaining our unity in diversity calls for continued adherence to these fundamental values," he said.

President Khama paid tribute to the founding fathers saying they had resilience and were able to overcome challenges through perseverance and hard work.

"Our modesty as a republic is what has driven this economy and the Vision of our founding fathers of a democratic, non-racial and self-reliant nation," he said.

He said given the geo-politics existing at the time of independence, the attainment of self-determination was an onerous task that many in the world thought would be a still-born project.

He called upon Batswana to hold on their culture and traditions and preserve them as they defined them as a nation.

Also, he said such gave the nation its identity and pride, as well as uniqueness and therefore describing Botswana as a country.

Moreover, he said the nation should continue to sell its culture and tradition to others and proudly, truly represent Botswana.

Source : BOPA

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