H.E. the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, has announced that the duties of one of the two Assistant Minister positions currently within the Ministry of Local Government will now be dedicated to ensuring the effective delivery of Remote Area Development.
His Excellency revealed Government’s decision at a meeting this week, where he cited Taskforce findings on the need for greater coordination and enhanced delivery of the Remote Areas Dweller Programme and other interventions targeting remote rural areas. The announcement was thus in line with the President’s recent State of the Nation Address in which he stated that:
“Government has adopted a Local Economic Development approach to promote income generation and employment creation at the local level. A Taskforce was appointed to carry out an impact assessment of the Remote Area Dweller Programme (RADP) on the livelihoods of targeted communities. Its recommendations were approved by Cabinet and implementation of the same will be expedited through relevant Ministries. Responsibility for the implementation of RADP requires coordinated efforts across Government to ensure people centered development at community level.”
At the meeting His Excellency further observed that Government recognised that stepping up Remote Area Development was a vital prerequisite for the success of its other flagship programmes for achieving Poverty Eradication and the Economic Diversification through people centered development.
As His Excellency’s had also affirmed in his State of the Nation
“Our determination to end poverty is thus tied with an undertaking to create additional opportunities for employment and income generation, more especially among the youth and rural poor. We do not want a situation in this country whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We must rather strive as a nation try to move up the ladder of opportunity together, not leaving others behind.”
Studies have consistently indentified large numbers of citizens living in Remote Area Communities as being among the country’s poorest and most marginalised, underscoring the need for a high level driver to ensure that they too can enjoy the opportunity to live in greater dignity.