Friday, August 27, 2010

Yusuf Dada, Group MD of Motor Centre Botswana on the Occasion of the Commissioning and Hand Over of the Boswelakoko Clinic by the A.S.Dada Foundation

source: Republic of Botswana TAUTONA TIMES of 15/8/2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"


Please find below a copy of the statement made by Mr. Yusuf Dada on behalf of the A.S. Dada Foundation at last Saturday's handover of a clinic by the Foundation to Government in Molepolole. The Clinic was received on behalf of Government by H.E. the President, whose statement has been previously forwarded -


[Salutations]...Ladies and Gentlemen dumelang bagaetsho.

1. I would like to preface my observations and remarks on this happy occasion by welcoming and thanking all of you who are here today for your valued attendance. This occasion represents the formal commissioning and hand over of the Boswelakoko Clinic here in Molepolole by the A.S. Dada Foundation to the Government of the Republic of Botswana. We are exceptionally delighted, and indeed highly honoured, by the presence of His Excellency Lieutenant - General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana, who has been able to make time from a hectic and demanding schedule - which includes competing and possibly even more compelling national priorities - to be with us today. On behalf of the Board and Trustees of the A.S. Dada Foundation, I would like to state that we are truly honoured by the acknowledgement and recognition of our modest efforts which your collective and esteemed presence represents.

2. Director of Ceremonies, when the beloved and illustrious forefathers of this country accepted independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, they immediately recognized the daunting tasks that faced us, as well as the enormity of the challenges of transforming what was undoubtedly an underdeveloped country into a self - sustaining and viable nation - state. They recognized, at that early stage, that even with all the assistance and goodwill which could possibly be derived from former colonial powers, external donors and other benefactors, the development of our beloved country would not be attainable without our own - or local - contributions and inputs. Accordingly the concept of Ipelegeng (self reliance) was embraced as a national principle that long ago.

3. This lofty and noble principle of Ipelegeng, compels and enjoins us as a nation and a people to be continually looking to see what we, both collectively and individually, can possibly do to uplift and improve our lives by means of our own efforts and resources, and not to be continually looking to Government for everything. When the late President J.F Kennedy, said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country?", he was essentially endorsing the very same spirit and values which underpin our national principle of Ipelegeng. Although we have made formidable gains as a country, since our attainment of Independence, the national principle of Ipelegeng is as important and as relevant now as it was then; and, may perhaps be even more crucial and timely now, in view of the formidable economic challenges with which we are faced as a nation.

4. As the A.S. Dada Foundation, it was abundantly clear to us that our Government - for all its capabilities - and even in the best of economic circumstances, would not be able to single-handedly carry the burden of providing each and every infrastructural development or every social service, and that certain measures of assistance would be required from private agencies and individual actors. Thus, the first clinic we built was in Kanye in memory of my great uncle, Mr Joosub Dada in 1994. Our second project was the Bontleng Clinic in Gaborone, which it was my pleasure to commission on 29th April 2008. On that occasion, I stated then that we had committed ourselves to the construction of two additional clinics, of which this Boswelakoko Clinic is one. I am therefore delighted to be here today delivering upon, and fulfilling, a commitment or promise which was made two years ago. I am even happier to be able to inform you, Sir, that the second additional clinic to which we committed (which is the fourth in our series of clinics) is already complete, and shall be handed over to His Honour Lieutenant- General M.S. Merafhe, Vice President, on a date which is yet to be agreed.

5. Your Excellency, I would like to make it abundantly clear that none of our efforts are in competition with the formidable achievements of the Government of Botswana, nor is anything that we have done so far premised on any perceived failure by Government to deliver. All that we have done is complementary to the achievements and efforts of the Government of Botswana. Every Government, particularly one which has been as industrious as our own, is deserving of every assistance that can possibly be obtained. And our Government, which has an admirable track record of achievement, especially deserves in these difficult times because we all know that Governments ambitions and goals have been greatly slowed down, or inhibited, by our depressed economic circumstances. The Setswana proverb "Kgetsi ya tsie ya tshwaraganelwa" could not be more true.

6. Director of Ceremonies, our endeavours this far have largely been directed to the construction of clinics, and have largely been driven by our view that whatever adversities or challenges of life - be it money, work or personal problems - none of them can be surmounted or overcome without good health. But there is another truth as well, which many of our compatriots are yet to open their eyes to. Good health is not necessarily a product of good therapeutic health facilities. Good health is also, and perhaps even more so, the product or results of a healthy life style, and the pursuit of activities - particularly diet and exercise - which promote wellness and go a long way in preventing the onset of numerous debilitating diseases and complications which afflict so many of our compatriots today. As a Group of Companies, we have been very supportive of various sporting codes, i.e. volleyball, lawn tennis, netball, to mention just a few, which support has taken the form of sponsorships and prize money. But the support and sponsorship of competitive sports benefits only a few, i.e. the competitors. We have to go further and devise ways and means of promoting health and wellness across the board, so that the benefits of wellness, including physical fitness, are spread more widely and are not confined to the select few who are active in competitive sport. Given Your Excellency's renowned passion for fitness, you might well be the right person for us to talk to!

7. Your Excellency, we would like to take this opportunity to recognize your own very long- standing concern and interest in the circumstances and plight of the less fortunate in our country. Through our national public media, we constantly see Your Excellency's frequent outreaches to our most down - trodden compatriots, in some of the remotest parts of our country, and this has gone a long way in raising our own levels of awareness of the magnitude of the challenge of poverty eradication. Out of the same spirit which has driven our humanitarian efforts to date, we are today committing to the erection of not less than six (6) two bed roomed destitute houses for the poor, this is over and above our commitment already made to communities and Red Cross.

8. But, in recognition of the fact that Your Excellency is uniquely placed to advise on where our efforts should be directed or targeted, the location of these destitute houses and the intended beneficiaries shall be identified by Your Excellency. We are making this pledge to complement Your Excellency's own tireless and demonstrated commitment to alleviating the hardship and suffering of our least fortunate and most vulnerable members of our society. Yours, Sir, cannot be permitted to be a solo effort, but requires the assistance and support of all men and women of both goodwill and conscience. It is also true that giving, and support for charitable causes, has its own immense rewards and satisfactions, especially in one's own community. There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling than making a difference in the improvement of the quality of the lives of people around you. Indeed, one of the pillars of our national vision 2016 is the creation of a Compassionate and Caring Nation, and we are most grateful for being afforded this additional opportunity to make a contribution to the attainment of this goal.

9. Your Excellency, it is therefore with immense joy and satisfaction that I now hand over to your good self, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Botswana, this Boswelakoko Clinic.

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