Global Policy Forum

President Housing Project Competes with NGO’s for Funds

Botswana is a middle-income country, and one of the most stable in Africa. Nonetheless, it confronts serious social and economic issues – including a very high rate of HIV/AIDs. The relative stability of Botswana has meant international aid has shifted to countries with more acute problems. Government and NGOs are now in competition for limited local private sector funds.  The private sector has favored government programs, which has led NGOs to form alliances to pursue funds.

By Thero Galeitse

President Ian Khama’s Housing Appeal project is said to be giving Non Government Organisations (NGO's) unfair competition when securing funds from the private sector.

Speaking at the launch of the new  partnership between Remmogo Youth Organisation and other NGO's last week, Botswana Lifeline director  Vivian Gunda said ever since the president's housing appeal was initiated they find it very hard to get funds from local private companies since most prefer to answer to the President's call.

Gunda said after Botswana was declared a middle high income country, most of the international donors shifted to other countries. “We thought the local private sector will fill the gap, but of recent our efforts has bared no fruits as they prefer to support the president over us,” she said.

Gunda revealed that recently one of their former donors made it very clear that they are now supporting the president with his housing campaign by building houses for the needy throughout the country. She said, “We are now competing for the same small piece of cake with the government.”

She said as NGO's they have to approach Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisation (BOCONGO) very soon to engage the government on the issue.

Gunda said Remmogo Youth Organisation partnership with other NGO's is a very good initiative that will help more vulnerable Batswana.

Remmogo founder and Executive Director, Kagiso Morebodi said they decided to form a partnership with other NGO's because they all have the same objectives especially when it comes to eradicating HIV/AIDS.

He said Remmogo has joined forces with Lifeline Botswana, Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA), Botswana Substance Abuse Support Network (BOSASNET), Youth in Action, Tebelopele, Botswana National Youth Council and other NGO's.

Morebodi said in the future when doing campaigns they will partner together. He said, “We will make everything simple so that when others are doing the counseling and rehabilitation, others will be testing on the other side therefore providing a full package.”

Gracing the event, Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Patrick Masimolole said there is a lot to be done when it comes to HIV/AIDS in Botswana.

“A prevalence rate of 17 percent is very high for our population. Uganda’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is at six percent while Rwanda stands at two percent despite their high populations. These countries fought HIV/AIDS though they have been hit by civil wars in the past,” he said.

Masimolole said more still has to be done to encourage male circumcision in Botswana as one of the weapons to fight the disease. He encouraged the NGO's to continue with the spirit of good work as they work together. “Remmogo proves that we can be an accountable and responsible nation.”

Remmogo Youth Organisation was also launching the 2011 theme song and music video titled ‘A re Ithokomeleng’ which will be used to sensetise and spread awareness message amongst the youth.


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