Botswana: UN Not Doing Enough - Masisi

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has complained that the United Nations was not doing enough to employ stellar performers from developing countries.

"It discomforts me that we don't have enough Batswana who are reps and who are in very senior positions at the United Nations, and we have our track record to prove that we are able to do so," he said.

Speaking during outgoing WHO representative Dr Martins Ovberedjo's farewell courtesy call in Gaborone July 24, President Masisi pleaded with him to join the campaign of growing Batswana, given that he had spotted a lot of potential while serving in the country.

"Take our people on, we will offer them to you to use, even for short term consultancy work, I say this having been in the UN myself, and I am familiar with how it works, but we have a role to play, a major contribution to make," he said.

Describing Dr Ovberedjo's as a servant who served Botswana with passion and diligence, President Masisi said he was impressed by the activities the former undertook and the sharpness of his understanding of public health issues.

"I wish there were more reps like you, so I hope UN is bringing a proper rep. I happened to just return from Kenya, and I went to the United Nations office, so I just said to the them, we are at a level of development, where we don't want novices. We have some good people who know what they are doing," he said.

President Masisi said Botswana needed support from international organisations such as the UN to take the country to the next level.

For his part, Dr Ovberedjo said he had enjoyed working in Botswana and that he would always be indebted to Dr Masisi for giving him proper orientation.

He said he was also challenged by the President's commitment and his love for Batswana, "for you it comes from the heart, your love for the people and the commitment to take Botswana to the next level".

Dr Ovberedjo, who came to Botswana in 2016, said the team he worked with had demonstrated that the President had eminent and visionary leaders in the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

"The health workers are fabulous. I visited all districts in this country and all communities in the tour of my duty, I found people who wanted change," he said.

Dr Ovberedjo said government commitment had been exemplary noting that in the African continent, Botswana stood tall in terms of dedication towards the attainment of health for all.

He said WHO's achievements in Botswana were due to joint efforts noting that without government support, not much would have been achieved.

Dr Ovberedjo described the WHO Botswana team as "out of this world".

He disclosed that under the recently completed functional review, the Botswana WHO office was acknowledged as one of the best performers in the African region.

"I want to thank you for the technical expertise in that office. There are challenges but I think with joint effort and the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Wellness it will take Botswana to the next level," he said.

Source : BOPA

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