Saturday, June 19, 2010

Speech by His Excellency, Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of Botswana at the Aviation Pitso, Maun

source: Republic of Botswana (6/6/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"


[Salutation]...Ladies and Gentlemen

1. It is slightly over two years since the establishment of the Transport Hub, amongst others to facilitate and support trade and economic development in Botswana as part of my Government's efforts to diversify the economy.

2. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to develop our country into a transport Hub for Southern Africa through several transport-related activities, such as improved roads, railway lines, Bridges, Dry Ports, the proposed Integrated Transport Policy and Government's intention to connect the Botswana transport network to others in the Region for trade promotion and facilitation.

3. Air Transport Services are in that regard, being enhanced to meet the needs of customers in view of recent developments in the local, and regional and international civil aviation industry. Significant among them is the birth in April 2009 of the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB).

4. The Government has found it necessary to convene this Pitso to consult you on various pieces of legislation that hinge on aviation safety and security to ensure compliance with international standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

5. In addition to legal issues there are numerous projects, which include Air Navigation Services and improvements at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Francistown, Kasane, Maun, Ghanzi, Tsabong and Hukuntsi Airports.

6. Air Transport needs to significantly grow beyond what it is today in this country. The responsibility of Government therefore is to stimulate and facilitate opportunities for growth.

7. I am conscious of the fact that Aviation by its very nature must operate within a safe environment for which compromise on such is not an option, but at the same time we do not want or need unnecessary regulation or over regulation that frustrates the Aviation Industry.

8. I hope this Pitso will give everyone an opportunity to share ideas, concerns and make recommendations that the Ministry and the CAA will pay attention to.

9. I want to assure you that this Pitso is not intended to be a forum about us telling you what we are going to do, but more to do with what do you want us to do.

10. These are matters you have to consider even beyond this Pitso. You are free to make contributions in your group presentations and resolutions in this two day seminar. I therefore wish you fruitful discussions and declare the 2010 Aviation Pitso officially opened. Pula!

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