Gaborone, Botswana - 14 May 2019: His Worship Mayor of Gaborone City Mr Kagiso Thutlwe welcomed WR Dr Martins Ovberedjo and Mr Gaborone to his Office and thanked WHO for support and partnership on HIV/AIDS. He intimated that as a council, they have interest in strengthening their work in Health and Environment as well as Non-communicable diseases, emphasizing the fact that the safety and cleanliness of Gaborone is one of their primary mandates. He said the wellbeing of Gaborone residents is their calling. Mayor Thutlwe gave examples of projects they are doing in these areas and sought partnership with WHO.
In response WHO Representative Dr Ovberedjo acknowledged the existing partnership and said that WHO is willing and ready to expand it to NCDs and health and environment. Dr Ovberedjo commended the Mayor and his administration for walking the talk on health by keeping Gaborone clean and safe. He congratulated the Mayor for being elected Chairperson of Mayors in the Region. Dr Ovberedjo intimated that greater success in the new partnership lay in working in collaboration with other sectors including Health, Basic education, Private sector, civil society and communities.
Discussions included issues around school health, physical activity through family friendly health parks, pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes to promote health and prevent NCDs. It was agreed that there is no reason why Gaborone cannot be a model healthy and sustainable city and benchmark on the continent, particularly with technical support from WHO. In the end, an agreement was reached for drawing up a Memorandum of Agreement and a follow up meeting on 21 May 2019 at the WHO Country Office.
Mayor Thutlwe was accompanied by the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Town Clerks for Technical Services and Finance.