Former Liberian interim President, Professor Amos Sawyer, has commended Botswana for being a model of good governance and sustaining a functioning democracy since its independence more than 50 years ago.
He was speaking during the inaugural ‘Democracy Symposium’ held in Gaborone on Tuesday. According to Professor Sawyer the exemplary quality of governance has made Botswana a model of good governance in Africa; a conducive environment for conferences and a reliable destination for investments.”As Botswana celebrates her 52nd independence anniversary the leaders and people have much to celebrate. Peace and stability are entrenched in governance and society. Democracy is healthy and working effectively and the country’s good governance credentials are recognised and commended worldwide,” he said.
The veteran political expert observed that in African regional diplomacy, Botswana has distinguished herself as the voice of truth; “We can always count on Botswana to tell others the truth; with respect but with clarity,” he said.
He added that the Botswana story can be used to inspire other states, especially those who have not been fortunate to experience the same democratic high standards, peace and stability as Botswana. “Well done Botswana, Thank you for leading the world,” Professor Sawyer said. He implored the government of Botswana to continue with the same quality of governance and also continue to develop the economy in a way that equitably distributes benefits to all of the people of Botswana.
Meanwhile when officially opening the symposium, the Vice President Slumber Tsogwane observed that the convening of the symposium is timely in view of the fact that Botswana is already preparing for an exercise that embraces our longstanding tradition of democracy, being elections through the on-going registration process in preparation for the general elections to be held next year.
Tsogwane also stated that Botswana is fortunate to have had visionary leadership during its formative years who were able to distinguish the country from others through their consistent adherence to shared values and principles, particularly respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the spirit of consultation and Botho. “It is because of the peace and tranquility that our leaders have sustained for so long that Botswana has continued to enjoy relative economic prosperity characterised by prudent management of resources of our country, for the benefit of all its people, this is an epitome of social democracy with special characteristics,” he said, adding that the progress the country has already made is a clear indication that more will be done to reach the goal of an inclusive society that ensures the social wellbeing of citizens.
Tsogwane noted that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has committed himself to vigorously engage with members of the international community by among others participating at forums which promote the fundamentals principles of democracy, and good governance.
He also noted that to this end, the Botswana government is reviewing laws to identify their relevance, and will for instance be presenting a bill in Parliament pertaining to the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities by Senior Civil Servants and Politicians. “The bill seeks to strengthen the existing anti-corruption laws in the country,” said Tsogwane.
The government of Botswana according to Tsogwane has also taken a decision to establish a Human Rights Council to strengthen the protection of human rights in the country. “We strongly believe in inviolability and universality of all human rights. That is the main reason why the country continues to uphold the promotion and protection of human rights as enshrined in the constitution,” he said.