NGOs urged to be open with govt

The Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) council chairperson Bookie Kethusegile has urged NGOs not to feel intimidated or stifled because they receive funding from government. Kethusegile was speaking at a press briefing on the mandate and strategy of the council held yesterday.

“I do not believe that NGOs should be silent on issues that affect citizen empowerment with fear that government is involved. Instead, government should work with NGOs for the betterment of citizens,” she said. Kethusegile further said  through the introduction of the NGO council, the NGOs voices would be resurrected. The aim of the council is to moderate and facilitate dialogue between the two parties. Kethusegile explained that the council is comprised of five governmental members which are the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Wildlife, Environmental and Tourism, Ministry Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as the Ministry Finance and Development Planning, together with four representatives from the Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), three members of the Community Based Organisation (CBO) as well Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM). “The structure provided in the NGO policy will specifically advise government with respect to policy development and implementation as well as ensure harmonization of the NGO policy with other policies to avoid potential duplication or conflict,” she said.

Kethusegile further revealed that council would focus on stimulating domestic philanthropic impulses and generate significant private contributions for socio-economic developments. She added that the council has also set up a trust account.

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