The AWF is an international conservation organisation headquartered in Washington, DC but exclusively focused on the African continent. It plays a very important role in the continent and more broadly in the world by emphasising the absolutely unique value of Africa's wildlife and natural resources.
The organisation's program is not just about wildlife but also about the broader context of sustainable human development, using wildlife as one of the continent's most unique resources.
According to Dr. Patrick Bergin, the President and CEO of the AWF, over 80% of their staff are African. AWF has had an active presence in Botswana, specifically Chobe National Park, working with the communities in the area.
The organisation also strongly values the building of human capacity in Africa to effectively manage the wildlife resources.
The AWF office in Kasane is staffed by over seven Batswana conservationists and serves as a regional head office for offices in the neighbouring countries.
When he briefed Masire, Bergin said: "We are working closely with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, having sponsored two of its Wildlife Officers to pursue Masters degree courses at universities in South Africa. Last November, President Festus Mogae recognised our efforts and gave a keynote address at our symposium in Washington DC attended by the private sector and government community.
"While our staff is predominantly African, our board of trustees has traditionally been composed of prominent individuals from the USA who have a passion for Africa and travel there regularly. We would like to do more to diversify our board and enhance our focus on Africa by inviting a number of outstanding African professionals to consider joining our board," he said.