Botswana: Education Fundamental to Economic Dev.

Gaborone — Education is one of the fundamental building blocks for economic development, says former president, Dr Festus Mogae.

Addressing recipients of the Barclays FG Mogae Scholarship Fund at a reception in Gaborone recently , he said without education, Botswana would risk limiting itself in reaching its full potential.

He said more educated citizens meant more qualified people for jobs that they would otherwise not have been able to get without knowledge from school. He also added that there would be more money made and consequently reduction of poverty rates and creation of a strong financial base for the country.

He also said with better finances the nation stood to gain and have improved services such as health care, infrastructure as well as safe and clean water.

The former president applauded Barclays Bank for dedicating 11 years towards unearthing the potential of young Batswana and giving them opportunities to attain academic excellence.

Dr Mogae, who is the scholarship patron, commended recipients for the great impact and difference they had made to the country's economy as well as to their communities. He challenged them to put their knowledge and experience to good use for the benefit of Botswana's development, adding that they had the responsibility to continue carrying the nation forward.

Barclays Bank managing director, Ms Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane acknowledged the role played by Dr Mogae in the development of Botswana. Ms Pheko-Moshagane said education was an essential part of anyone's personal development as well as a major contributor to any nation's social and economic development. Barclays Bank, she said, was committed and focused on investing in education in alignment with government's roadmap of transitioning from a resource based economy to a knowledge based one. Ms Pheko-Moshagane said Botswana's economy had been heavily dependent on resources, and that it was time to diversify in order to compete in the global market.

In addition to the scholarship, she said the bank's citizen agenda initiatives included youth and community empowerment. Ms Pheko-Moshagane said the bank contributed positively towards the growth of society, adding that as it transitioned from Barclays to Absa, it remained committed to the communities in which it operated as well as to the development of Botswana.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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