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HIV and AIDS NGOs Crisis in Botswana

Author(s) and Title(s): 
Zolani A. Kraai (Mr)
Struggle Continues..

Gaborone - Dating back to the years between 1993 and 2003, the formation of Non Governmental Organisations or either referred to as Civil Soviety Organisation, has been overwhelming and as such even at the same it created a room for diverse collaboration and effective coordination in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Botswana. Prior to those years, the government of Botswana actually benefited a lot to the formation of NGOs hence previously government was struggling alone in implementing some of the national developments as per periodical plans illustrated.

As the approach and existence of AIDS roamed the world, Botswana was not excluded in as far as the escalation of the scourge is concerned and of now Botswana is described as of the countries that is highly affected by the epidemic, at a prevelance of 17.6%. The governement of Botswana has over the years put in place efforts that saw the country growing rapidly, of course with the contribution of the raw materials such as diamonds and the cattle/beef industry.

The AIDS scourge saw and contributed to the slash cuts in budget earmarked for developements thus development funds diverted to HIV and AIDS at an annual fiscal financial expenditure budget of about P420 million, equivalent to $64, 638,000.

If this amount of money is spent on only HIV and AIDS, what about other social determinents that are supposed to be taken care of, of course in collaboration by both goverment and donor funding agencies? I we saying the government can sustain this expenditure for over the next 20 years? If the answer is yes, depending on the country GOP and other source of resources, are we actually going to sustain our lives and developments with the scope in which our NGOs are coping nowdays particularly in Botswana?

Botswana has over the years been described as model of good governance and transparent democracy and shing example of true reflective and effective democratic leadership but are these memoirs going down the drain especially in the areas of leadership and governance in the Non Governmental Organisation enclave in Botswana.

For the past years Botswana has been doing well in the fights agaunst AIDS with efforts outlined under the National Strategic Framework and the then Mid term Review plans. Good examples are shown in the areas of free roll-out of ARVS to its citizens and of late the results of PMTCTC at 98% have clear shown the government's committment.

However, all these efforts have been crumbled by the continued deteroration of poor leadership and governace within the NGO sector in Botswana. Although the situation can be termed as "red alert"government continues to pump in more money to some if not majority of these NGOs. Some of these NGO have acyually introduced a so called "founder syndrome" which has actually built it roots from networks operating in the field of HIV. Some of these founders have been at the helm of the organisation for the past 10 years thus cretaing no room for change, lack of transparency, poor leadership and governance ethics, etc.

So, if we are going to be able to persue, attract, and looby donors and funding agencies to our respective countries then we should introspect. Gone are those days when we would remain in power just because we have formed and can call the shorts, dictate terms of what, how the organisation should be run.

Publishing Information
Publisher Name: 
Zolani A. Kraai
4 Jul 2011