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Welcome Remarks by the BFA President

WELCOME REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOTSWANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION, MR MACLEAN LETSHWITI, ON THE OCCASION OF THE BFA ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY HELD ON 10 OCTOBER 2020
MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT, SPORTS AND CULTURE DEVELOPMENT, HONOURABLE TUMISO RAKGARE
MEMBERS OF THE BOTSWANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE BFA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
DEAR DELEGATES, INVITED GUESTS, MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to the 2020 Ordinary General Assembly of the Botswana Football Association (BFA), an occasion of particular significance on the BFA calendar.
This is the time for us to look back and introspect on the events of the past year, and also make decisions that will affect our future in the short to medium term.
Director of Ceremonies, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to extend on your and indeed on my own behalf, our profound gratitude to the Honourable Minister for taking time from his busy schedule to grace our meeting with his presence. Thank you Honourable Minister for your support and dedication to football, and with us even during this risky period of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Honourable Minister, Distinguished delegates, this year’s Ordinary General Assembly has had to be held later than usual and under the present circumstances in which we sit in different locations; all thanks to COVID-19 whose ravaging effects have spared no country, let alone sport association.
I am of course happy that finally this meeting has come to fruition, as it will guarantee delegates the opportunity to assess the BFA’s performance, plan for the future as well as most fundamentally, exercise their constitutional right of electing a leadership of their choice.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the last couple of months have no doubt been difficult to all of us. Not only were our movements restricted, but we were starved of our No 1. love; football. The association had to make tough decisions including ending the football season prematurely and stopping the practice of football altogether during this period; all in the name of safeguarding the safety of our athletes and football family.
Of course such measures created serious hardships resulting in great sacrifices by clubs, players, officials and football fans. On behalf of the BFA National Executive Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to applaud and sincerely thank you all, for your profound understanding and collaboration during this most difficult time for football and everybody.
Director of Ceremonies, later on when I will be delivering the National Executive Committee report, I will provide details of what was done to mitigate the impact of covid-19 within the realm of football.
Prior to the advent of Covid-19, we had our fair share of challenges, but certainly enjoyed many more successes and achieved quite a few firsts.
Four years ago, we embarked on a process to overhaul our governance systems, to make them more robust and compliant to international best practice. As a result of that, we are ending the quadrennial as the leading beneficiary of the FIFA Forward project on the continent and a model FA in terms of corporate governance.
We have moved from a being a near insolvent and debt riddled entity to a stable organisation with sound financial controls and stable finances; as a result of the reforms introduced.
Honourable Minister, with your long relationship to sport, I am sure you can bear testimony to the fact that our relations with Government are possibly at their best. Not only that, we are revered on the continent and command considerable respect at FIFA. An example and outcome of our cordial relationship with international football governing body was the your invitation to visit the FIFA Headquarters in February, where you had the unique opportunity of meeting with both the FIFA President and Secretary General, and with whom you left a very good impression.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, our relations traverse geographic locations, religions and other considerations. As a result of our relations with FAs on the continent and beyond, we have recently had our Teams camp and train in both Morocco and Slovakia, with local costs covered by hosts. That not only saved us money but allowed out Teams worthwhile practice that put them in good stead for better performances thereafter.
Our project with the German Olympic Committee and football association will go a long in sustaining good performance in future, as we will have the right caliber of coaches working with our athletes.
Locally our impeccable governance record and good stakeholder management has resulted us in enlisting sponsors and partners such as ABSA, Choppies, FNB, Skyways and others; all towards the development of football. We have recently signed up Parmalat and we do indeed have some more sponsors lined up
FIFA and CAF have not only supported us materially and otherwise for Covid-19 related projects, but we have also benefitted significantly from their flagships projects. By way of example, we were amongst the four (4) countries in the world at which they piloted their women’s football strategy project. We have therefore received close to P60million in the last 4 years towards our development programmes.
Distinguished delegates, we are happy to have made significant strides in the commercialization of our clubs as they are not only a source of players for our national teams, but an avenue through which football as a whole can be profitable and self-reliant.
Capacity at our regional structures has been strengthened through project Time for Change, for which we spent no less than P6miilion.
We are also happy that soon construction of what should become one of the best soccer academies in Sub Saharan Africa will take off; thanks to the Government of Botswana and the BNSC for availing land for the project. Distinguished delegates, ladies and Gentlemen, as I conclude allow me to thank you all most profoundly for having agreed to meet in this manner.
We are aware that this might cause a great deal of inconvenience as it prevents you from physically interacting with fellow delegates, but we count on your understanding as we do not have much in terms of alternatives in the matter.
We do believe however that, although we are in separate locations, we are as much together as we have ever been. We believe that we have done enough to make the Ordinary General Assembly as interactive and as successful as if it was a normal physical meeting. Ladies and Gentlemen, with these few remarks, I take the opportunity to welcome you to this partially virtual Ordinary General Assembly, the first of its kind in the history of the Botswana Football Association.
I would like once again, want to thank the Honourable Minister for being here with us today and wish of all of us contesting in today’s election the very best of luck. Your unconditional support for football development and understanding of vision and aspirations is indeed very encouraging. Honourable Minister, we will continue to consult closely with you and your team at the Ministry to facilitate development and transformation of our football. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for the courtesy of your kind attention.

MACLEAN LETSHWITI PRESIDENT,
BOTSWANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

Development

BFA President Letshwiti urges regional FAs to become more professional

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, MacLean Letshwiti today (Friday) officially closed the 5-day FIFA approved and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course for the Gaborone City Regional Football Association, held under the theme ‘Operation Time for Change’ at Tlotlo Conference Centre in Gaborone.
 
A welcome and refreshing undertaking, the programme, which opened on Monday, April 12th – 16th, was intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting.
 
The objectives of the programme included the empowerment of leaders, both Regional Structures and Clubs, on the management of the game; engaging participants on the importance of Stakeholder management, as well as identifying for further training prospective national course instructors in Administration and Management, with a view that once qualified, they will continue to train up and coming Administrators in the Regions on football administration.

Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consultancy

 
In his remarks, the BFA President said the programme has seen more than 500 participants across the country benefiting at a cost over P4 million courtesy of football’s world governing body, FIFA.
 
“I am delighted to see that our regions participated in this programme with large numbers, and they have also shown willingness and strong commitment to learn fittingly. For us to run professional leagues, and independent regional associations, we must equip our personnel with the right courses that enable them to be professional and act along the FIFA standards and statutes. The BFA will under my leadership be a frontrunner in improving the standards of football both administratively and in the field,” said Letshwiti.
 
Letshwiti noted that Botswana was one of the first countries to benefit from the FIFA Operation Time for Change project, saying this goes to show the level of commitment the local FA has for the growth of the sport.

Gaborone Regional Football Association Chairperson Tsheko

 
The project, which was facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting ranged from governance, technical, sponsorship, fan base management, financial management and competitions amongst others.
 
“There is a lot of hope as the Gaborone region is in the capital city where the headquarters are. I am also happy that the region now has an office, and this is where all the 49 teams in the Gaborone region can go get serviced. After this weeklong engagement, the region has assured me that they will bring about the much-needed change of how they have been running their matters including sub-constitution from the parent constitution to give the chairman powers to run the region professionally. This is the biggest investment the FA has made, and it has to be put into practice. If all the stakeholders can all pull in the same direction, the BFA can be one of the strongest FAs at FIFA level,” said Mamelodi in his closing remarks.
 
For his part, the Gaborone regional FA, Vice Chairperson, Thapelo Mothusi said as the region they are grateful for all the lessons learnt from the Operation Time for Change course. He said all club administrators have been fully equipped with critical lessons to implement at their various clubs.

BFA President Maclean Letshwiti

 
As it was the last day of the course, all participants were tasked with case studies to mimic real football situations, ranging from organizing the play-offs, youth tournaments and event management.
 
Meanwhile, The BFA Technical officer, Tshepo Mphukuthi further assured the delegates that in the upcoming football season, the CAF regulations will be intensified, and teams will have to have coaches with relevant coaching badges to be illegible to coach particularly at CAF competitions.

BFA acting TD Dr Carolin Braun and BFA Chief Protocol Officer Spencer Mmui

 
From Gaborone, the Operation Time for Change programme will head out to the Kgatleng Regional FA, from April 26th – 30th, and call it a wrap in Palapye from 10th – 14th May 2021 with the Central/North Regional FA (Serowe).

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