President Ian Khama yesterday conferred honours and awards on 27 distinguished individuals, including some collaborating partners for their diverse services to the nation.
The three-tier arrangement saw the awardees receiving their honours and awards in the Presidential Order of Honour (PH), Presidential Order of Meritorious Service or Presidential Certificate of Honour (PCH) and the Presidential Service of Honour. Those under the PH group include former speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Balopi, who is recognised for his multiple roles as a teacher, politician and farmer.
Others in the category include former diplomat, Ben Makobole, Macdonald Seema, former MP, Ambrose Masalila and former Police Chief and later Botswana's ambassador to Namibia, Norman Moleboge.
In the PMS category, awardees included Steven Harpt of Bana ba Metsi School, which he started in 2000, with the objective of catering for youth at risk, specifically primary school dropouts.
The children are equipped with life skills by way of academic instruction and practical work.
Alexander McCall Smith of the Mma Ramotswe fame otherwise known as "The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" which is a major international film that was filmed in Botswana and showcases Botswana characters also received the award.
Others include Bill and Melinda Gates who, through their foundation, partnered with the Botswana government and the Merck Foundation to form the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP) which has over the years supported and enhanced Botswana's response to HIV and AIDS financially and technically.
They have together contributed over P600 million since ACHAP started in 2001. Technically, they have assisted in bringing
Marck Foundation chairman, Richard Clark, also received the award for the same efforts.
Bob and Sara Rothschild, who through their foundation are building two libraries per annum over a 10-year period, and have already built six libraries, also received the PMS award.
Wildlife film producers, Tim and Jim Liversedge of ROAR - Lions of the Kalahari, received an award for their contribution in helping the world understand and appreciate Botswana's wildlife.
And so did Dereck and Beverly Joubert whose Botswana wildlife films have featured in the National Geographic Channel.
The third category awardees include Dr Joseph Makhema, chief executive officer of the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership.
Makhema worked at Princess Marina Hospital from 1993 to 1997 and is currently Consultant Physician at the Gaborone Private Hospital. He has contributed immensely in HIV/AIDS research and has written more than 20 publications in various health journals and other publications about HIV/AIDS in Botswana.
Other awardees include Joyce Anderson, a human rights and environmental activist, sport activist, Roslyn Tebele, former MP Jerry Gabaake, long time nursing sister and lecturer at the Institute of Health Sciences, Lucretia Koodibetse, journalists, Andrew Sesinyi, Solomon Monyame, Bishy Mmusi and Beata Kasale.
Kasale is also co-publisher of The Voice newspaper. Sports administrator, Eva Kerileng, environmental activist, Ditshwele Kereng, San Community builder, Tsaxlae Xao, musician, Ndingo Johwa and Kebatenne Morake also received the award.