2 October 2018

Botswana: Accelerate Formation of Community Trust

Moiyabana — An official of Serowe Administrative Authority and deputy district commissioner, Mr Charles Modise has appealed to residents of Moiyabana, Sehunou and Mabuo (MOSEMA) to accelerate the formation of their trust.

Speaking at the commemoration of World Tourism Day at Moiyabana, Mr Modise said community based organisations were entities formed by communities which were involved in the management of natural resources to represent the community's natural resources management related interests.

Furthermore, Mr Modise explained that CBOs implemented any management decisions taken.

Mr Modise encouraged the MOSEMA community to "continuously pursue strategies that will bring positive returns on investments for the trust."

Though aware of challenges faced by community based trusts across the country, the deputy district commissioner said he would like to see management overcoming such challenges and ensuring proper corporate governance.

He suggested benchmarking exercises for MOSEMA community trust from the best practices such as at Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT) which, he said, was the pinnacle of community based projects.

"The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism and other stakeholders will work with you to improve and consolidate on positive performances that have already been achieved by some of the existing CBOs," said the deputy district commissioner.

Mr Modise informed the gathering that natural resources, especially wildlife were the foundations of Botswana's tourism industry, adding that community involvement in the management of natural resources was imperative for the long-term sustainability of the tourism sector.

Zeroing in on the theme: Tourism and the digital transformation, Mr Modise said "a more digital oriented tourism sector becomes a catalyst of social cohesion and its positive economic consequences enhance local governance capabilities which multiply the tourism impact even further."

On other issues, he said the World Travel and Tourism Council estimates showed that tourism contributed in excess of P7.5 billion and employed over 18 372 people in 2017.

Realising that citizen participation in the tourism sector was encouraging, Mr Modise said there was a need for further mainstreaming tourism into national and district development plans due to economic influence in the economy.

Source: BOPA

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