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Jennifer Anderson » High Commissioner to Botswana

Remembrance in Botswana

Trumpeters from the BDF play The Last Post

Like many Britons, I spent yesterday remembering those who have served and those who have fallen in conflict since World War II. Unlike most, I did so in Botswana’s largest village, Molepolole where our High Commission was joined by nearly 20 World War Two veterans from the African Auxiliary Pioneer Corps of the British Army and their families, Kgosi Sechele III (Paramount Chief of the Bakwena Tribe) and members of … Read more »Remembrance in Botswana

Olympic Fever Pains

Taking part in a beachvolleyball exhibition match with the Mayor Gaborone and the Botswana Defence Force Volleyball team.

Like so many sports fans around the world I’m now in the grip of that quadrennial disease known as Olympic fever. The main symptoms seem to be a TV that never goes off, regular resort to the BBC website live feed, soaring hopes for my preferred competitors and spontaneous outbursts of joy and anguish as those competitors do or don’t achieve a medal. The outside of my residence was the first … Read more »Olympic Fever Pains

My Olympic Journey

Jennifer Anderson in Palapye with cyclists from Lotsane Senior Secondary School and the Palapye community

So there’s just one day to go until the world’s athletes enter the Olympic Stadium for the London 2012 opening ceremony. As someone who was found in the library more than on the sports field when I was younger, I am genuinely awed by the work it has taken for each of them to get there and the single-minded resolve each athlete will have to demonstrate over the competition. Here … Read more »My Olympic Journey

Debating the Death Penalty

Sunday nights are my time to catch up on unread newspapers.  Curiously – today being the World Day Against the Death Penalty– last night’s papers were full of stories about the death penalty.  There are several reasons for that.  First, Botswana is one of the few remaining active users of the death penalty in Africa (in 2010 only Sudan, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea and Botswana carried out death sentences; in 2009 … Read more »Debating the Death Penalty

Joy, Opportunity and Challenge

Feature image for:  Joy, Opportunity and Challenge

Last week – at the height of the pre-Royal Wedding coverage – a friend sent me an article claiming that, for republicans swamped by stories of last week’s Royal Wedding, “the best advice is to flee to Botswana until sanity returns”.     Well, I think they may have been disappointed.  Last Friday’s wedding may not have achieved the saturation coverage of the US or other places, but there was … Read more »Joy, Opportunity and Challenge


Feature image for:  Milestones

Milestones have been on my mind over the past week.  And there’s been quite a few of them.  First, last Wednesday, was International Women’s Day – and not just any anniversary, but the 100th since it was first marked.  I will admit, I’m a proud feminist at heart who believes that women’s rights and progress do need to be actively promoted and defended.  So it was a pleasure to get … Read more »Milestones

Justice and debate in Botswana

One of my recent blogs reminded me that whilst there are a range of human rights issues discussed here in Botswana, there is one issue which above all has generated international debate – namely the position of the San communities of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (the San are also known as Bushmen or Barsawa although all three terms are considered pejorative by some).  Yesterday  five members of one San … Read more »Justice and debate in Botswana

Delivering Prosperity in Botswana

If you have reached this blog from the front of our High Commission’s website, you’ll have seen that our Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham MP, recently gave a speech on Africa: ‘UK and Africa: Delivering Prosperity Together’.  In that speech, our Minister talks about growing recognition of Africa’s economic potential and how the UK and Africa can jointly benefit.   Thinking of  Africa as a continent of opportunity, rather than one … Read more »Delivering Prosperity in Botswana

2010 International Human Rights Day in Botswana

Feature image for:  2010 International Human Rights Day in Botswana

Last week I talked about World AIDs Day in Botswana.  Tomorrow is another important commemoration – international Human Rights Day.   The theme is “Human Rights Defenders who Act to end Discrimination”.  It’s an important issue even in a country with a good reputation on human rights such as Botswana.  And – as is inevitably the case in a country with such a high incidence of HIV/AIDs infections – the relationship … Read more »2010 International Human Rights Day in Botswana

World AIDS Day in Botswana

Feature image for:  World AIDS Day in Botswana

Botswana has many positives to its name – from economic strength, democracy and stability through to good governance. But against all those achievements, nothing challenges this small country like the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.  Since the late 1990s it’s become one of the world’s most HIV infected countries.  ‘Hyper-endemic’ is the official term, I think.  But the reality, for a country where over 17% of the population carry the HIV virus, … Read more »World AIDS Day in Botswana