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Sport promotes peace - Molefhi

Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi says the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP-IWG) aim to use sport as a means to bring to fruition the internationally agreed development goals including the Sustainable Development Goals and peace.

Molefhi said this when officially opening the 7th International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) conference on May 17.

He said in strife-torn countries sport brightens the social environment, eases tension and gives communities reasons to smile and embrace one another.

The objectives of the SDP-IWG, he said, resonate well with pillar one of Botswana’s Vision 2036 on sustainable economic development, which he said recognised the potential of sport to contribute to economic diversification.

Molefhi said government has through sport programmes engaged young people and continues to make a case for women’s participation in sport, both domestically as well as in the international arena.

Furthermore, he said last year Botswana signed the SADC protocol on gender, adding that the revised protocol provided for the empowerment of women, elimination of discrimination and the promotion of gender equality and equity through gender responsive legislation policies, programmes and projects.

In other issues, Molefhi said the impact women made at the Commonwealth Games could not go unnoticed given that 40 per cent of Botswana’s medals were won by women.

He noted that the first gold medal at both the Commonwealth Games and IAAF World Championships were won by Amantle Montsho.

“As a nation, we continue to be proud of Montsho for setting the pace for women, with the likes of Christine Botlogetswe, Galefele Moroko and Leungo Matlhaku among others, making a strong case for local female athletes both locally and internationally,” he said.

Molefhi said government continued to attach importance to hosting major international competitions, adding that in 1997, the country hosted the CAF Under 17 games, followed by the 2014 African Multisport Youth Games.

In 2017, he said Botswana hosted the first ever Netball World Youth Cup and Baseball/Softball Congress.

He said for two years Botswana hosted the Africa Women and Sport Conference that was meant to contribute to the Africa legacy.

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng said Botswana recognised the contribution of women in sport development and the value of gender balance in sport.

He said the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), created the Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO), and that one of the key objectives of the movement was to develop the capacity for women to take leadership positions in Botswana sport.

He said WASBO also lobbies and advocates for recognition of women in sport, adding that the result of the efforts of the body had been an increase in the number of women taking part in different roles in sport, and an improvement in the quality of sport in Botswana.

Olopeng said the recent performance of Botswana athletes at the just ended Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, was a case in point given that the team comprised 11 women and 16 men, a much improved ratio from past participation in international sport.

“The team was very ably championed by a woman as chef de mission. We believe that the composition and achievements of the team will inspire a generation of young girls to take to sport,” he said. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Anastacia Sibanda

Location : GABORONE

Event : 7th IWG World Conference

Date : May 20 Sun,2018

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