Tourism Minister Philda Kereng appears reluctant to appoint a substantive chief executive officer (CEO) of the Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) despite a board of directors’ recommendation.
The Ministry of Tourism Acting Permanent Secretary (PS) Abigail Engleton confirmed that the BTO Board made a recommendation to the Minister a few months ago.
The BTO top job post has been vacant since March 2021.
“The proposal has to go through the necessary government structure and as such the Ministry cannot offer a definitive response as it awaits the due process to take place,” said Engleton.
Further quizzed on how many locals and non-citizens were shortlisted for the job, she stated that the Ministry is not at liberty to divulge any information at this point.
Previously the BTO top post was advertised externally for the second time after the late FNBB chief economist Moatlhodi Sebabole, died while waiting on cabinet to approve his appointment as BTO CEO.
Sebabole, who in 2019 was appointed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi to lead the National Transformation Strategy Team, had applied for the BTO top post and went through the interview processes and emerged the front runner.
It is not clear if government enclave will give the BTO board the green light to appoint a recently recommended all rounder (known to this publication) as the next BTO boss. The versatile candidate has well experienced has held executive positions in banking, telecommunications, education, mining and the corporate guru has held regional position with international exposure as well.
Around February 2021, BTO at the time confirmed the sudden departure of the then CEO Myra Sekgororoane through a ‘straight to the point’ press statement. BTO board chairman – Boitumelo Sekwababe said in the statement that Myra will leave BTO on the 26th of February 2021. The reasons for her departure remained privileged to the few industry players and cabinet.
The departure of Sekgororoane happened at a time when the country’s tourism sector was going through a rough patch due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector suffered a major shock in 2020 as a result of less activity in both domestic and international tourism.