Mmegi Online :: Steep P1.7bn budget crushes Olympic dream
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Last Updated
Thursday 17 January 2019, 16:31 pm.
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Steep P1.7bn budget crushes Olympic dream

The government balked at the P1.7 billion required budget to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which saw Botswana fail to submit the necessary Letter of Guarantee to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 14 Sep 2018, 13:19 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Steep P1.7bn budget crushes Olympic dream








Botswana was one of the four countries vying to become the first African country to host the Youth Olympics.

Last week, Senegal was chosen as the preferred hosts ahead of Botswana, Tunisia and Nigeria.

As the nation carries out a postmortem of the failed bid, the autopsy will reveal that the Botswana government balked at the P1.7 billion budget required to host the games. As a result, the government did not submit the crucial Letter of Guarantee, which meant the country dropped out of the race.

Botswana had made it past two bidding stages, and was in the final lap, in the race to host the first ever Youth Olympic Games to be held in Africa.

However, the government after careful consideration, did not put pen to paper on the Letter of Guarantee arguing, the figure was prohibitive, although the final sum was going to be much lower.

Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Permanent Secretary, Kago Ramokate told Mmegi Sport that the budget was the reason the government could not commit to hosting the multi discipline, global showpiece.

“I can confirm that the Ministry and the BNOC (Botswana National Olympic Committee), worked hard in bidding for the YOG. The games provided a golden opportunity for growth of Botswana sport. In the end, the estimated cost of the Games, at P1.7 billion,

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proved to be unaffordable to the country.

Therefore, Botswana could not submit a Letter of Guarantee as required,” Ramokate said yesterday. The deadline for the submission of the Letter of Guarantee was August 17, but Botswana requested for an extension to enable further consultation.

Ramokate said Botswana still harbours hosting international competitions in future. However, the opportunity to host the Youth Olympics is good as gone forever, as the IOC had given Africa the opportunity to host the 2022 edition.

“Botswana still harbours ambitions of hosting world level events in future. Therefore, MYSC shall continue to engage relevant stakeholders in pursuit of this objective,” he said.

Botswana has bid and won the right to organise the 2014 Africa Youth Games, and most recently, the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup.

Ramokate said there was a budget projection all along, and they were hopeful that it would be revised downwards, but IOC required commitment to a figure.

But some sources said the country would have recouped the costs, as part of the P1.7 billion would have come from the IOC, leaving government to commit around P600 million.

“The benefits would have outweighed the costs. Around P1-billion (against P600 million), would have been invested in the economy in a space of three months,” the source said.

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