Gaborone — The Italian government on Friday night bestowed the Ordine Della Stella D'Italia (Order of the Star of Italy), a prestigious national honour from the European Union state, upon the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Concervation and Tourism, Mr Tshekedi Khama.
In a function hosted at the residence of the Honorary Italian Consul to Botswana, the award was conferred upon Mr Khama, who earned the title 'Comandatore' for his contribution towards enhancing the cordial relations between Botswana and Italy as well as guiding national efforts to combat climate change.
Delivering a message on behalf of the Lusaka, Zambia based Italian ambassador, Filipo dell' Agnone, the Honorary Italian Consul to Botswana, Mr Guido Giachetti said the President of Italy, Mr Sergio Mattarella had granted the award in recognition of the smooth bilateral relations between Botswana and his country.
He said the founders of the independent Botswana had built an open society that had always warmly received Italian political envoys, businesses and tourists.
Building upon this solid foundation, Mr Khama had created partnership with Italy to assist Botswana in addressing challenges such as climate change, Mr Giachetti said.
He said the award was a prestigious honour availed to both Italian and non-Italian citizens for their contribution to that country, in this case the strengthening of Italian international relations.
For his part, Mr Khama said that since his appointment as a minister, he had always wanted to get more involved in issues of climate change. The biggest challenge, he said, had always been inagequate funding.
In order to augment what was availed by central government and approved by Parliament in the national budget, Mr Khama said they got assistance of at least US$40 million plus technical support from the Italians regarding climate change mitigation efforts.
Also, Italy has provided modern weather radar systems for more accurate weather forecast.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>