Saturday, June 22, 2024

US – Africa summit host facility fails security checks?

The security of President Mokgweetsi Masisi and seven other heads of State may be compromised unless the venue for the upcoming US – Africa summit is changed.

The event, slated for 11 – 14 July 2023 in Tlokweng  has exposed Botswana’s lax policing of building and physical planning codes.

The summit, which aims to highlight the next phase of growth in the US – Africa economic partnership focusing on health security, trade, agribusiness, digital transformation, manufacturing ecosystems, and finance will also attract over 1000 business persons from the US and the African continent.

While all seems set for the big event, a risk assessment of amongst other things – security, fire safety systems, and other physical planning issues at the Royal Aria Convention Centre has raised fears that the lives of at least eight heads of state (including President Mokgweetsi Masisi) could be placed in danger should the organisers of the much talked about summit choose to ignore the red flags identified at the newly built convention facility. Other heads of state confirmed for the summit include Zambia’s Hakainde Hichelema, Hage Geingob of Namibia, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, King Mswati III of Eswatini as well as Lesotho’s Samuel Matekane (Prime Minister). The US is expected to be represented by – Scott Nathan of the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a key American government investment agency with a $35.7 billion loan portfolio.

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