03 Nov 2004
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FESTUS Gontebanye Mogae was inaugurated yesterday for his final term as President of Botswana.
He promised his govern-ment would remain com-mitted to globalisation and regionalisation and that economic policies were un-likely to change, but there would be improved imple-mentation of government policies and projects.
"We must continue to build the future by ensuring that we are open minded and have the courage to listen to sound advice at home and abroad, and review our policies where necessary," he said after taking the oath of allegiance.
"As a small state we are deeply conscious of the fact that our own prosperity is enhanced by the prosperity of our neighbours. This is why we remain committed to strengthening regional inte-gration and economic co-operation. We must maintain an outward looking approach if we are to be competitive in the global economy."
Botswana looked forward to the realisation of the objectives of (South African President Thabo Mbeki's initiative) the New Part-nership for Africa's Deve-lopment, NEPAD.
"We are convinced that it embodies the hopes and aspirations of our peoples for a more peaceful, democratic and economically prosperous Africa," Mogae said.
At home, basic polices would not change but the government would move to improve its implementation of policy and projects.
"The maintenance of an open economy, sound macro-economic environment, pru-dent financial management, increased participation of citizens in the economy, regional co-operation, sus-tainable environmental ma-nagement, the right to private ownership of property and respect for the sanctity of contracts will continue to be cornerstones of our economic policy," he said.
"My government will focus greater efforts on timeous and efficient project implementation and service delivery."
He once again stressed he would stand down when he had completed 10 years as president.
The parliamentary term can be up to five years, and when Mogae leaves, unless an election is called, vice president Ian Khama will assume the presidency.
"As I assume this const-tutional term of three and a half years, I once again reaffirm my determination to devote my time, energy and best endeavours to improving the living stan-dards of all the people of Botswana," Mogae said.
The renewal of a mandate and the inauguration of the president of the republic was a powerful reminder of the responsibilities towards the people of Botswana.
"Together we have a contract and common pur-pose to eradicate poverty, create employment and combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
The situation demands urgent action and the needs are compelling," he said.