As the new Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive committee assume office this week, Debswana Managing Manager Balisi Bonyongo’s words of encouragement must be pounding in their ears. Bonyongo had given the footballing fraternity a lengthy talk on the direction the association should take if at all it has ambitions of success. Bonyongo says for the association to be successful the purpose of its existence must be clearly defined. Though he acknowledges that BFA has had its successes over the years he feels a lot still needs to be done to further develop football. He then called the football leadership to look for a long-term strategy that will see things done differently from the way they used to be done. “Although the BFA has managed to spread the gospel of the beautiful game to all corners of Botswana, we must concede that football at a regional level is still very much underdeveloped and under resourced,” says Bonyongo, citing what he termed sub-standard playing grounds and facilities that exist across the country.
The other thing that he talked about is the inability of BFA to raise enough funding to implement all its development programmes. Bonyongo, whose company is the sponsor of the First division football, called on the football leadership to start building for a self-sustaining entity. “BFA should become a self-sustaining entity going forward because sponsors are not here to stay for ever. Right now we understand but in the coming five years or so the association must be showing signs of self-sustenance,” he says. Bonyongo says when strategies are made they should be long-term for continuity. His pleas came before the election of the new committee into office and fortunately it resonates well with the incoming president’s ideology. Maclean Letshwiti, who is now BFA president, has always believed that he can do things differently and make BFA an entity of repute. According to Letshwiti’s campaign promises, it is just a matter of time before the association turns commercial and self-sustaining.
In his manifesto it is clearly stated that a business model will be developed which shall set out clear parameters of the process. To further encourage privatisation the business model will also clearly outline requirements and legal frameworks to guide transition of clubs registered as societies that aspire to privatise. Just like Bonyongo has called, Letshwiti said a long term strategy will be developed with clear milestones for short and long term objectives. He pointed out that the strategy will be one of the things he and his team will be working on in their first 100 days in office. With Letshwiti’s rooted business acumen it is believed that he will bring all the answers to Bonyongo’s questions. Bonyongo had put a question before the football leadership that “is the strategy of yester year still appropriate to take us into the future.”