Botswana is currently hosting the 7th International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) World Conference in Gaborone. The three day conference officially commenced on 17th and is to conclude on 20th May.
About 80 countries have converged in Gaborone for the World Conference. The event has attracted more than 900 participants with over 500 being Africans. The conference is held under the theme ‘Determine the future, Be part of the change.’
Botswana’s international sprinter,(400m) Amantle Montsho and South African middle distance runner and also 2016 Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya are expected to be among the panelists of the plenary sessions. Addressing members of the press this week, the IWG Co- Chairperson Ruth Maphorisa said they have prepared well for the event and hoping for a successful turnout. Maphorisa explained that they had budgeted for P14 million however they have since settled for P 9 million given their financial challenges.
Maphorisa and her team were forced to scale down their budget and work with the available resources, “ We had to prune out some things but not necessarily watering down the quality of the event,” she said. The IWG Co- Chairperson said the government had been generous enough and assisted whenever possible to ensure smooth running of the event. “We were dealing with issues of Visas and I must applaud our government for speeding up the process and ensuring that no one is left behind.” Quizzed on the legacy they expect to be left behind by the conference, the IWG Secretary General Game Mothibi said many local women have been trained in sports leadership roles. As a build up to the IWG conference, Women and Sport Leadership Academy (WSLA) Botswana chapter saw about 25 locals trained from the 14th -16th May in Gaborone.
More to that, because of the historic milestone, Botswana is now the base for WSLA in Africa. The academy will run every two years and the legacy is to be continued by Tsosi Magang Trust and Women in sports Botswana (WASBO) post the conference. The academy was full funded by Debswana Diamond Company.