Botswana: Parliament , State of Victoria Share Ideas

| July 29, 2016

Speaker of Parliament, Ms Gladys Kokorwe says the visit by the Victorian Legislative Council from Australia will build collaborations between the Parliament of Botswana and the State of Victoria.

The delegation of four, led by the president of the Victorian Legislative Council, Mr Bruce Atkinson, was on a two-day visit to Botswana on Wednesday July 27 and July 28.

Ms Kokorwe, who met the delegation at the National Assembly buildings on Wednesday, said the visit would provide a platform for sharing of ideas and building collaborations on capacity building and legislation issues.

She noted that Botswana and Australia shared historical ties as they were both members of the Commonwealth.

She briefed the delegation on Botswana's system of Parliament and the role played by "Ntlo ya Dikgosi" as an advisory body. She also said they have embarked on a mission to sensitise ordinary Batswana about the processes of Parliament, and how they could participate in the legislative process.

"We are working hard to increase citizen participation in Parliament through a programme called Taking Parliament to the People, and also through an initiative called Parliament Speaks which we have piloted in some constituencies," Ms Kokorwe said.

Mr Atkinson said Australia was looking to cultivate fruitful engagements with African countries. Regarding his state's collaboration with the Parliament of Botswana, he said "there are many things we can learn from each other because there are similarities in structures of our governance."

He pointed out that there could be idea sharing on issues concerning agriculture, land management and representation of people.

The delegation also held a meeting with the chief whip of Opposition, Mr Wynter Mmolotsi, who thanked Australia for assisting Botswana in areas such as education, sports development and veldt fire management.

Mr Mmolotsi said although Botswana was a democratic country, opposition parties were looking forward to a day when Parliament would be "fully independent."

"We are still a department under a ministry and are not fully independent. We are facing difficulties in terms of capacity. We are expected to draft bills but don't have a dedicated department to help Members of Parliament draft bills. We should be having an office for that within Parliament," he said.

Source: Botswana Daily News.

Category: General

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