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African Interpol Conference to be held in Gaborone

Botswana will, on February 16 and 17, 2011 host the African Interpol Conference in Gaborone.

The conference will tackle how to fight all forms of crime and about 53 African countries are expected to participate in the conference.

The conference organizer and Head of International Relations and Liaisons, Assistant Police Commissioner Precious Thabiwa, told The Telegraph on Monday, “Botswana will host the 21st Interpol African Regional Conference that will be held on the 16 and 17 of February next year.”

She said they are expecting between 300 and 400 participants from 53 African states as well as the Interpol affiliates from all over the world.

Thabiwa said the conference will discuss, among others, cyber crime, terrorism, human trafficking, motor vehicle theft and corruption, just to mention a few.

“This is the second time that Botswana hosts such a conference; Botswana benefited a lot after the (first) conference,” Thabiwa said, adding that the first time the country hosted an Interpol conference was in 2002.

She pointed out that the Cyber Crime Act was passed after the first conference that Botswana hosted.
Interpol holds such conferences every other year.

Asked about the cost of staging such a big conference, Thabiwa said she was not in a position to give a figure but pointed out that it is an expensive undertaking.

“The government will sponsor the conference,” she said.

Thabiwa further said that Gaborone Interpol is trying its best to assist other affiliates with information about wanted criminals but conceded that Botswana sometimes gets into difficulties with other countries when they seek assistance.

“In some cases, some countries take time to respond to our requests, which eventually affects the investigation of a particular case or cases.”

Although she could not commit herself, it is expected that State President Ian Khama or Lesego Motsumi, his Acting Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, will officiate at the conference.
“Preparations are still underway, therefore I am not yet in a good position to reveal more,” she said.

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