U.S. Ambassador Howard Van Vranken Launch of AFCP-CCB Project in East Hanahai

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Dumelang [doo-may-long] bagaetsho [ba-ha-ets-oo]!
I am pleased to be here in East Hanahai on my first trip out of the vicinity of Gaborone!
Ghanzi District Commissioner – Mr. Huparelang Lesetedi
Ghanzi District Council Secretary – Mr. Dick Kalantle
Councilor for East & West Hanahai – Mr. Kebogile Taeyele
Councilor for Kacgae & Bere – Mr. Isaac Saidoo
Kgosi East Hanahai – Kgosi Magwasi Johannes
Kgosi West Hanahai – Kgosi Khoxo Xase
Kgosi Kacgae – Kgosi David Daosa Manka
Kgosi Bere – Kgosi David Rasetswana

It is an honor for me to be here and to be part of this exciting journey of launching a project funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. This grant was awarded to Cheetah Conservation Botswana in the amount of approximately $162,000 for the Preservation of San Bushmen Traditional Culture in Western Botswana.
Culture and history play an essential role in all communities. I am convinced that preserving the past – and helping create a legacy for future generations – will continue to give the San people and Batswana in the Ghanzi area, a strong cultural identity. I applaud the communities benefiting from this project for reaching out to Cheetah Conservation Botswana to document your legacy.

The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) program is celebrating twenty years since its inception. Botswana is one of the success stories that has enjoyed this AFCP legacy, through eight projects awarded since 2002.

Documenting the culture and indigenous knowledge of the San is important and timely. Strengthening the San community trust leadership to identify diverse livelihood opportunities will ensure that the preservation of this knowledge benefits these communities. Transferring indigenous knowledge between generations is key not only to understanding the past, but also to giving meaning to the present, and to shaping future opportunities.

I am proud to be part of this project at its very inception. I look forward to learning from you during my time in Botswana as the project progresses. With that, I want to congratulate East and West Hanahai, Bere and Kacgae communities and the CCB team for an outstanding proposal and I wish you the best with this project. I officially declare the project launched.
Ke a leboga