Stakeholder consultations regarding Maun Educational Park are on the horizon, the spokesperson for Kgosi Tawana age regiment, Douglas Mokenane has been quoted as saying.
A highly publicised letter from Tawana Land Board, dated 20th January 2020 announcing that the government was handing MEP ownership back to the community signalled a huge victory after years of wrangling with the government. Over recent years, the park has been at the centre of a dispute between Maun people and Ian Khama’s regime.
Mokenane said in an interview with Botswana Safari News (BSN) that consultations with the community, tribe advisory council, chiefs and the royal family would begin soon. The consultations are expected to explore the best ways to utilise the facility.
“From the consultations, we will know the type of investment and partnership to adopt,” Mokenane said.
Although Mokenane was not at liberty to share more details other than the above-mentioned, BSN said investors reportedly are looking to develop Maun Educational Park (MEP) into a Science Park, an idea that was suggested in the previous MEP management plan. BSN said that several potential investors from the European Union to African Development Bank have already toured the facility this year. Sources have indicated that the anticipated investment runs into billions of pula.
The Patriot on Sunday newspaper also reported this month that Maun would soon reap the benefits of owning the Maun Educational Park as massive billions of pula investment are at an advanced stage to turn the park into a science park. The publication said the Kgosi Tawana Moremi was delighted with the new development and that they had been working on a plan to transform the park once it has been returned to the community. He noted the idea was started last June as they met two Professors from the University of Germany and discussed at length the idea of turning the park into a science park, which would be a great asset to the community.
The newspaper said Kgosi Tawana stressed that the decision to adopt a science model was motivated by the challenges that pose a threat to the livelihood of communities such as the outbreak of Malaria, Foot and Mouth Disease and Tsetse fly, among others. The chief, however, stated that they are still to address a Kgotla meeting to inform the community about the plan. He added that they would then continue with plans once the community give the idea of a science park the thumbs up.
References: Botswana Safari / allafrica.com