The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife, Tshekedi Khama says the tourism sector stands to replace diamonds as Botswana’s economic mainstay.
Speaking at the De Beers Banquet this Tuesday, Minister Tshekedi said tourism would soon replace diamonds as a major contributor to Botswana’s economic growth.
The minister said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirement should not be seen as a challenge, as illustrated by the BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe where it was disregarded. He, however, said his ministry plans to work with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to rectify the situation.
Minister Tshekedi called on Batswana to conserve the environment for the benefit of future generations, saying the future of sustainable development lies in sustainable tourism. He said the spoils of Orapa and Jwaneng kimberlite have sustained the economy, which has seen Botswana reach middle-income status. He said while there are no apologies for Botswana attaining middle-income status, it works against it in so far as sourcing funds from international donors.
The Minister said Batswana are looked at differently because they are perceived to be privileged but warned that they are doomed if this becomes their culture.
Image source: Rhino Conservation Botswana