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Botswana aims to light up remaining
20 pct of rural homes by 2020       

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Botswana is targeting to connect the remaining 20 percent of rural households to electricity by 2020, according to Botswana’s energy minister.

Sadique Kebonang, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, made the announcement Saturday after touring Morupule B power plant at Palapye, some 280 km north of the capital, Gaborone.

Botswana’s rural electrification currently stands at 80 percent.

Kebonang revealed that extensive works are currently ongoing to meet the southern African country’s target of electrifying the remaining 20 percent of rural homes in three years’ time.

According to Kebonang, the government has initiated a public-private partnership program to boost energy production in the country.

“Botswana energy production capacity will be augmented by renewable initiatives that the government is putting in place with the help of the yet to be disclosed private players,” Kebonang told reporters.

Botswana is also setting her sights on gas reserves, extracted from coal beds to play an important role in the country’s energy security, Anthony Gilby, the chief executive officer and managing director of Tlou Energy recently told an Africa Independents Forum in London.

According to Gilby, Botswana has a “very attractive power market” and that the country’s coal bed methane (CBM) reserves could also be used to help the residents, industries and businesses access electricity.

Botswana has independently certified gas reserves in place and Gilby believes that the first gas-to-power plant could be online “potentially by 2019” -developments that will boost the country’s quest in electrifying close to the remaining 145 000 households in rural Botswana.

Latest figures from Statistics Botswana also clearly shows that electricity generation increased by 11.1 percent while power imports dropped by 32 percent in last quarter of 2016.

The physical volume of electricity generated during that period stood at 783,141 megawatt-hour (MWH), which represents an increase of 77,940 MWH as compared to 705,201 MWH generated during the same period of the previous year.

The bulk of domestic electricity production is generated by the Morupule coal-fired station with more than half of Botswana’s power requirements being imported from South Africa and Zambia.



Former Botswana President Ketumile Masire laid to rest

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Multitudes of mourners paid their last respect on Thursday to former Botswana President Ketumile Masire who passed away last week.

The mourners, including current and former presidents, as well as members of diplomatic missions, converged in the village of Kanye, 80 km south west of Botswana’s capital Gaborone.

Speaking at the funeral, former South African President Thabo Mbeki said Botswana has lost a great leader who helped shape the political and economic landscape of the southern Africa region.

For his part, current Botswana President Ian Khama said he remembered the late Masire for his passion to working selflessly to the nation and its people.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region has lost a leader who was an asset in many ways. He said the late Masire commanded respect without ever demanding it and his generosity of spirit was so much a part of his character.

He said the people of Zimbabwe will forever remember the sterling role Masire played in the liberation struggle of the region.

At the funeral, a message of condolence from Chinese President Xi Jinping was read to the crowd. In the message, he described the late Masire as a prominent leader of Botswana and Africa, and an old friend of the Chinese people.

“He had done a great amount of work in promoting friendship and cooperation between our countries and made an important contribution to the development of China’s relations with Botswana and Africa in general,” read part of the statement.


Xi extends condolences over death of former Botswana president

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has conveyed condolences to his Botswana counterpart Ian Khama over the death of former President Quett Ketumile Joni Masire.

In a message dated June 23, Xi mourned Masire’s death and extended sincere sympathy to the family of the former president.

As an old friend of the Chinese people, Masire has made significant contributions to China-Botswana friendship and cooperation as well as to the development of China-Botswana and China-Africa relations, which will be remembered forever by the Chinese people, Xi said.

The Chinese president also voiced hope for steady progress in China-Botswana friendly cooperative relations so as to deliver more tangible benefits to the two countries and peoples.

Masire died at 91 on June 22 at the Bokamoso Private Hospital in the capital where he has been hospitalized in intensive care unit.


Mozambican president expresses condolences
to Botswana for loss of Ketumile Masire

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi on Saturday used his position to represent the Mozambican nation to express condolences to Botswana for its loss of the former president, Ketumile Masire.

In his message the president highlights the contribution Masire made to the African continent, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and particularly to Mozambique.

Nyusi said that Masire was a true friend to Mozambique in his contribution to strengthen bilateral cooperation, friendship between the people of both nations, which cannot go unnoticed.

“He provided a fundamental support to Mozambique in tortuous moments when we were building the trajectory of the country,” reads the presidency message.

Nyusi admits that there were times that Mozambicans themselves doubted if they should continue the fight, but the late former president Masire always gave a helping hand to support the country.

“In the name of the Mozambican people and my own, I would like to send through you your Excellency, to the people of Botswana and the mourning family our condolences, “the message reads.

Nyusi went on to say that the loss is irreparable not only for the mourning family and the Botswana people but also for the SADC community, the African people and all those that love peace.

In the message Nyusi also mentioned the readiness of Masire to help resolving the recent political conflict that Mozambique had suffered in the last couple of years.


Former Botswana president Masire dies at 91

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Botswana is mourning the death of its second President Sir Ketumile Masire who died in hospital late Thursday night.

The former president has been hospitalized in intensive care unit since last Friday. 

A statement released by the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation, a foundation he co-founded and his family, on Friday morning confirmed that the former statesman passed away late Thursday at the Bokamoso Private Hospital in the capital where he has been hospitalized.

Born Quett Ketumile Johny Masire in 1925, he lead Botswana since 1980 following the death of founding president Sir Seretse Khama until his retirement in 1998.

He led the country in what many described as a difficult period in the southern Africa region where most of Botswana’s neighbors were going through their liberation struggles.

He however managed to maintain Botswana as one of Africa’s shining example of peace and democratic rule.

Since his retirement, Masire has been involved in several missions in the region including chairing the committee that investigated the 1994 Rwandan genocide as well as coordinating the 1998 Congolese dialogue.


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