Botswana represented at Taiwan centenary

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Two Batswana youth have been chosen to represent Botswana in Taiwan which will be celebrating its centenary as a nation, officially known as the Republic of China.

Phoebe Ramaloka and Donald Molosi will leave for the event, dubbed SayTaiwan, on Thursday.  They are expected to spend two weeks in Taiwan, where they will stay with local families in order to fully immerse themselves into the island nation's culture.

The two, along with other young people from across the world, will get the opportunity to tour Taiwan and its neighbouring island of Kinmen and will meet with Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou at a formal dinner in Taipei city.

Phoebe Ramaloko, 27, due to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from the University of Botswana has decided to use the opportunity as a way of marketing Botswana to Taiwanese investors.

Speaking to Mmegi in an interview, Ramaloko said she decided to work with home grown organisations such as Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO), Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Debswana to sell Botswana and showcase her tourist attractions as well as illustrate how diamonds have helped develop the country.

She said that she found out about the opportunity to visit and celebrate with the Taiwanese people through her work with AISEC Botswana, a student organisation that she was part of during her student ways.  She said she felt she qualified as the announcement from Taiwan was looking for distinguished youth leaders, and she has plenty of experience as she has been in positions of leadership through AISEC.

Ramaloko is currently an intern with Cheetah Conservation Botswana, a non-governmental organisation based in Mokolodi working for cheetah and other predators conservations.

Donald Molosi, 25, is a theatre actor, with the singular honour of being the first Motswana to perform off-Broadway stages in New York City.  His one-man plays include Today; It's Me about Ugandan musician Philly Lutaaya who was one of the first public figures in the country to publicly announce his positive HIV status.  He has also written and performed Blue, Black and White, about the period before Sir Seretse Khama's presidency as the first president of Botswana.

"I see myself as an unofficial ambassador to Botswana because of the public nature of my work.  I take this as an opportunity to sell Botswana with my performances and my diplomatic skills," he said in a press statement.

Both Ramaloka and Molosi are expected to document their experiences of Taiwan using social media such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter.  Taiwan is an island of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and is located off the southeastern coast of mainland China.  It gained its independence from mainland China in 1911.

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