Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) president Dave Gilbert is excited about the coming Africa General Assembly to be hosted in Botswana. The general assembly, which will be held in Kasane on December 3, 2016, will be preceded by a week-long series of trainings and workshops. Gilbert says the meeting will attract around 100 delegates from 37 African countries and representatives from the World Rugby Union and provides a good opportunity for the development of rugby in Kasane. Gilbert said on Wednesday that for a long time BRU has been looking at developing the sport in Kasane and sees this as a great opportunity to start the project. “There will be workshops and training conducted by the Africa Ruby and the World rugby and hence people in Kasane particularly schools will benefit a lot from this,” said Gilbert. The budget of the conference is said to be around $150 000. As the conference is held in the tourism hub of Kasane, it is expected to boast tourism sector. “All this money is coming into Botswana and it will help to grow the country’s economy,” he said.
According to Gilbert, Botswana showed interest in hosting this in 2014 in competition with countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Botswana was, however, awarded the hosting rights towards the end of 2015 after showing capabilities. Africa Rugby is expected to discuss its strategic plan for the coming five years. “The issues that will be discussed include that of budget as we have tournaments scheduled for the next coming five years,” said Gilbert. Meanwhile, to make sure that the conference goes well BRU has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Sport Volunteer Movement (SVM). Gilbert said SVM is a great partner and working together with the movement will make things easier for them as they will be relying on volunteers for the conference. SVM chairperson Ntebogang Maplanka said the partnership will go a long way to since the two entities need each other.
Maplanka is also happy that the Kasane conference would benefit them to grow their reach in Kasane. “Most sporting events are held in Gaborone and surrounding areas and people in Kasane are always hungry to contribute to the development of sport but they never get the chance,” she said. She went on to explain that SVM is for every Motswana who want to help in the development of sport in Botswana. “It is for every Motswana one who cannot play but have a will to help in developing sport in any way they cans” said Maplanka. The Botswana National Sport Commission’s director of administration Steve Bothasitse commended the partnership, saying it is the kind that is needed to see sport growing. Concerning the conference he pointed out that as BNSC they are trying very hard to get high level events to be hosted in Botswana as they have got major benefits not only for local sport but the country at large.