Mmegi Online :: Botswana in mining versus tourism conundrum
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Wednesday 23 August 2017, 06:00 am.
Banners
Botswana in mining versus tourism conundrum

Staff Writer TSHIRELETSO MOTLOGELWA finds that reconciling the interests of the mining and tourism sectors on the international stage will be a challenge for Botswana.
By (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Botswana in mining versus tourism conundrum








Botswana is a mining field and this is increasingly spreading to all its shores. Sitting on over 200 billion tonnes of coal, the country is marching steadfastly towards turning coal into gold as the diamond era is slowly facing the setting sun.

"As diamonds are a finite source, we have to turn to other minerals especially coal.

The country has an estimated 200 billion tonnes of coal, which can be used to meet local energy needs as well as be exported. Given emerging global demand particularly for the growing economies of Asia, coal remains a key fuel for power generation" President Ian Khama recently told the nation. President Khama stated that Botswana would be exporting coal within the next 12 months.

It is no wonder then that, just a day after the official opening of COP17 In Durban, Gaborone will be opening another international gathering, the Botswana Coal and Energy Conference 2011.

At the forthcoming conference, the increasingly important Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe will rub shoulders with such key industry players like Milton Catelin, chief executive of the World Coal Association, Gregory Kinross, president of CIC Energy.

Government has specifically decided to follow the coal trail and related sectors as the new economic path. The entire Transport Hub, one of the government's central projects, would not be possible without the mining industry.

The development of a dry port at Walvis Bay, the Mosetse-Kazungula and Mmamabua-Ellisras rail link and the heavy haul railway line between Botswana and a Mozambican port are all landmarks in this new direction of the country's economic development.

Is Botswana also accelerating towards an even more polluting industrial development direction?

Meanwhile, Botswana is also expected to increasingly look to tourism as it seeks to diversify its economy. This means that this semi-arid country will eventually be greatly affected by any slight change in climatic conditions.

Any drastic climatic conditions would affect the country's tourism attractions - from the Okavango Delta to the game reserves of the Kalahari thirst land.

In the meantime, there is a rush by progressive

Banners

countries to enter a new era of safe energy.

The catch is that as many countries are finding out, keeping a working development program demands a lot more than what safe energy can provide. Hence the double-speak that takes place during such gatherings as COP17.They call for safe energy and quickly paddle back to coal, diesel and all the other old polluting energy sources.  First World countries who continue to contribute more pollution have been asked to cut back on this while other polluters within the developing world such as China (the world's greatest carbon dioxide emitter), seem to be saying "you've had your time to destroy the planet, leave us alone for now because we are still developing".

Developed countries such as Japan find it unacceptable that major polluters such as China who are labeled developing economies seem to be granted a less ambitious program on their emission.

Botswana remains lucky since she falls under the developing portion of the international climate stage. Therefore the country can still pursue its current direction in the mining sector, although in the long term it might not make sense even for the country's own future as the tourism sector rears its green head.

If some countries were to have their way, within the medium term the country may not have these benefits anymore as more and more countries argue that there should be a unified framework under which each country would commit as per its own level of development. For now countries such as the United States of America want to rein in China and India but it is a matter of time before anyone has to go the safe energy route regardless of the stage of economic development.

That's essentially what irks the so-called developed world.

"To secure our global interests, Japan's ultimate goal regarding climate change is an expeditious adoption of a new, single and comprehensive legal document which will establish a fair and effective international framework in which all major economies participate," says the Japanese Ambassador Masahiko Horie.

Banners
Banners
Banners


Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Wednesday, 23 Aug 2017
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   10.2249
1 GBP = Pula   13.1062
1 EUR = Pula   12.0192
1 YEN = Pula   0.0935
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7728
1 Pula = USD   0.0978
1 Pula = GBP   0.0763
1 Pula = EUR   0.0832
1 Pula = YEN   10.7
1 Pula = ZAR   1.294
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    The Hitman
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 18 Aug - Thursday 24 Aug :::
    The Hitman's Bodyguard
    Annabelle: Creation
    Detroit
    The Son of Bigfoot
    Girls Trip
  • Previous
    Detroit
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 18 Aug - Thursday 24 Aug :::
    Detroit
    The Hitman's Bodyguard
    The Son of Bigfoot
    Baby Driver
    Girls Trip
  • Previous
    Annabelle: Creation
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 18 Aug - Thursday 24 Aug :::
    Annabelle: Creation
    The Hitman's Bodyguard
    Detroit
    The Son of Bigfoot
    Snatched
    Girls Trip
Selefu
The Bishop Scandal
Banners
Banners