Business Day – thank you – reports how Prez Khama believes the Chinese have not delivered on their power generation contract stating that four generation plants should have been operational at the end of 2012, and only one of them is operating. The article goes on to say that the Prez is not amused at the current power shortages in Botswana as he fears the current lack of power saga will not attract investors to bid on the other infrastructure projects planned. Telling it like it is great!
Another kudu for Khama is his comment about if the private sector is financing rail projects, the government will not interfere in the appointment of contractors (South Africa sit up and listen please!!) “but if government has anything to do with it they would be urging caution” to private companies the article states. No point in having what the world needs (coal) and not being able to move it to ports of export. It is interesting that there is a statement about Chinese/Botswana relations as being good in 2009 – my friends that is some four years ago!
The Chinese have long upped their quality and technical skills to match international standards in most industrial sectors. Yet, still the perception out there is of cheap and nasty technology. Does the current situation in Botswana where the workmanship of the Chinese power installations has been slammed by government reflect elsewhere?
While Africa per se has embraced the Chinese influx of exports, and trade is growing, does that mean an African Prez cannot voice his concerns and ‘fed-up-ness’ in public – I hope not, unity is not about accepting sub-standard services and non-functioning projects at high prices with no fallout. It is tax payer’s money after all. The Chinese do not own Africa (yet!) – I hope there are no political inane backroom babbles by some of the tinpot brigade.
I believe Prez Khama’s statements reflect a concern for his country and its needs. They also reflect a president with some substance and who has obviously digested the feedback from those on the ground. His willingness to call it as he sees it is most refreshing – I hope his media presence continues to increase because I believe it is positive media.
Go Prez Khama, keep talking.
Copyright (C) Sue Charlton 2013