2012 Botswana Sustainable Development and Cottage Industries Exhibition

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28 April 2012 to 22 June 2012
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The 2012 Botswana Sustainable Development and Cottage Industries New York Exhibitions was launched on April 28, 2012 under the auspices of His Excellency Ambassador Charles T. Ntwaagae at the Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations at the New York Location. Deputy Ambassador Mr Nkoloi Nkoloi conducted the evening education lecture of Botswana economic, social and environmental development and investment opportunities and promoted ecotourism and sustainable development investments to the various companies representative that were present at the cocktail reception. The event is managed by Mr Tlhalefo B. Madisa, who is the driving force behind the 2012 Botswana Sustainable Development and Cottage Industries New York Exhibitions.

The goal of this initiative is to take optimal advantages of the opportunities and resources available from the private sectors and at the United Nations for marketing Botswana public and private sectors, with strong emphasis on the cottage industries and ecotourism. The objective of the initiative is to showcase Botswana's unwavering commitment to sustainable development, citizen economic empowerment and poverty eradication and to also market the country as a viable tourist and investment destination.

The cottage industries of Botswana is made up of arts, crafts, pottery, Etsha Baskets, tapestries and jewelry from the women of the local villages across Botswana. The creation of these products are handcrafted, which gives buyers a unique feeling of owning a piece of Botswana culture while the proceeds from the purchase will go to support the women and their children as a source of income , which serve as a mitigation strategy for poverty alleviation, thus fulfilling the United Nations Millennium Goal # 1.

The Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations in New York will provide monthly exhibitions from April 2012 to December 2012 to the diverse business sectors and academic institutions across the New York metro area.

The exhibition was centered on two levels of mobilizing investment into Botswana; firstly, the Estha Baskets and the Tapestries were showcased. The New York buyers were intrigued with the intricacies of each baskets and tapestries on display. Buyers were informed that the elaborate baskets are made of palm fibre that is dyed with roots or bark to achieve different shades of brown, orange and cream and the Etsha baskets are of high quality and beautiful designs and are regarded as some of the finest pieces of craft produced in Africa. Since each basket is a unique piece of art and therefore carries a tag with the name of the woman who made it and the basket patterns have colorful names such as "running ostrich", "zebra's fore- head", "shield" and "clay pot", the New York buyers were intrigued and wanted to purchase large quantities, and the demand exceeded the available supply of baskets and tapestries. The exhibitions are allowed the baskets to serve as a means of poverty alleviation, while simultaneously putting Botswana culture on the world map.

Acknowledgements: The permanent mission of Botswana to the United Nations H.E. Ambassador Charles T. Ntwaagae, Deputy Ambassador Mr Nkoloi Nkoloe, third secretary, Mr. Thalefo Batsile Madisa, Rita Cooma, ICCOUNCIL Africa