The Deputy Commander of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) , Major General Placid Segokgo says the Command and Staff College has continued to produce officers of repute since its establishment in 2007.
Giving a keynote speech at the graduation of senior military personnel at Glen Valley Barracks on Friday August 7, Maj. Gen. Segokgo said he was proud that besides former students, officers who had served at the college continued to climb the ladder to positions of greater responsibility within the organisation.
That, he said, demonstrated the college’s effect in shaping and sharpening officers of high standing. He added that college graduates also continued to make a contribution to the development of the BDF and the nation.
He expressed hope that the officers would join the rest of the group to add to the tributaries that fed into the river of national development.
The programme that officers undertook included the foundation of military forces, war fighting, military operations other than war and the final exercise.
Maj. Gen. Segokgo said he had no doubt that the curriculum empowered officers with the art and science of modern warfare, and to plan and execute operations against conventional and non-conventional threats.
Furthermore, he said the University of Botswana (UB) diploma and masters’ programmes on defence and strategic studies, which were another component in the curriculum, added value to the empowerment of contemporary military officers by broadening their intellectual horizons.
Maj. Gen. Segokgo commended the strategic partnership between the college and UB, saying since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two in 2009, a number of deliverables had been achieved.
That include the concurrent award of both diploma and masters in defence and strategic studies alongside the passed staff course.
In line with the college’s aspiration to be a world class institution and to embrace international best practices, the BDF sponsors the college every year to undertake geo-strategic tours.
This year, they visited Lesotho and Swaziland and Maj. Gen. Segokgo said the tours helped in building military diplomacy and regional cooperation through defence and security collaboration.
As a country, our outlook stands to benefit from the extent to which the college can contribute to developing human capital to sister defence forces in the region. In this regard, I am happy to note that amongst the graduates, there are six allied students from Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively, he said.
He added that the presence of a woman officer from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was a welcome development.
He noted that while the dynamics of gender in the military were well entrenched in other SADC defence forces, for Botswana it was still a new phenomenon.
He said the presence of the woman officer taught them a number of lessons that they would benefit from. Furthermore, he said the presence of allied students at the college represented Botswana’s unwavering commitment to promote both bilateral and multilateral cooperation towards regional integration.
He commended the establishment of the college, saying it saved the country millions that was previously spent elsewhere. In line with international practices, he said they were looking into enrolling officers from the rest of government in order to promote the necessary operational synergies and inter-agency coordination in the security sector.
He also thanked the 47 graduating officers who were mostly in the rank of major for their commitment. He urged them to contribute towards addressing issues such as HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, gender violence and road traffic accidents.
He also thanked the teaching staff and the exchange directing staff group Captain Raziq Olanwareju from the Nigerian Air Force and Colonel Nike Collins from the Royal Logistics Corps (UK) for providing service to the defence college.