The Japanese government on Monday donated over P490, 000 to the Ghanzi District Council for the construction of a pre-school as part of the economic cooperation ties between Japan and Botswana.
The donation counts as the 44th project through which the government of Japan has extended its support to Botswana through Japan’s ‘Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects’ grant scheme. The pre-school is one of the four projects that were approved for the 2015 financial year and the last one to be signed off.
The pre-school will be constructed in West Hanahai in the Ghanzi District. Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects, referred to as the GGP, is used to support projects that address social problems and is aimed at community development projects at grass-roots level. The grants provided have a maximum limit set at 10 million Japanese Yen (approximately P900, 000) which is transferred from the Embassy of Japan to qualifying registered non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, educational institutions, medical institutions and local governments. As at March 2015, the government of Japan had extended funding to more than 40 organizations in Botswana, especially in the areas of education and skills development and the empowerment of vulnerable groups such as women, children and people living with disability.
The past projects include provision of facilities and equipment to brigades, electrification of primary schools and in terms of projects relating to vulnerable groups funds were used to construct facilities that support abused women and/or children as well as the procurement of a Braille printer for a brigade for blind people. Yukari Kanamori who was at the time tasked with coordination of the grant scheme mentioned in a previous interview that the recipients should meet criteria for funding which includes a healthy cash flow and availability of staff to take charge of the specified project, given that the provision of funding requires a significant amount of administrative work. She also highlighted that the project should seek to engage the local community as much as possible.
With specific regard to trade between Botswana and Japan, the main import items that Botswana obtains from Japan include automobiles and semiconductors whereas the main export items from Botswana to Japan include diamonds. Japan is considered one of the world’s largest importers of diamonds.