This past Saturday, on 29 October 2022, Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO), a body formed in 1997 to increase participation of women and girls in sports and other recreational activities in Botswana, officially launched its 2021-2024 Strategic Plan at Cresta President Hotel in Gaborone. The launch was attended by representatives from the 8 WASBO Regions, National Sport Associations, Women’s Commissions, schools, and the media. This new strategy was crafted through a series of stakeholder engagements and workshops. The first workshop was conducted from the 06-07 March 2022 and included all WASBO structures and the Executive Committee.

The continuation workshop was later conducted on 24 April 2022 and was attended by the WASBO Executive Committee members in Gaborone as part of the strategy formulation process, while the following one was later conduced in May 2022. The purpose of the strategy formulation process was to develop a comprehensive 4-year strategy with clear and measurable targets that will guide WASBO on the delivery of its mandate. The process for development of the WASBO 4-Year strategic plan also included the situational analysis, which looked at several areas to better understand and reflect WASBO’s current reality, which included WASBO mandate and performance review, internal analysis as well as analysis of external macro and micro-environmental factors that specifically affect WASBO and could influence the coming strategy. This activity was a critical input for the development of the strategic plan.

The strategy workshops and stakeholder engagements were intended to determine the status with the implementation of the strategic plan, review changes in the internal and external environment and their implications of the strategy, review WASBO strategic foundations (Vision, Mission and Values), define the direction of WASBO over the next 4 years of its strategy cycle, align the goals and targets of WASBO with those of phase 3 of the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Strategy (2021-2024), establish a clear set of priorities for WASBO to achieve its goals and infuse the key objectives from Gender Mainstreaming strategy into the WASBO strategic plan.

The strategy launch that was hosted on Saturday therefore provided the output of these strategy engagements and the formulation process and served as a base for the continued elaboration of WASBO’s strategic plan and official unveiling of the new strategic direction for WASBO. All the above highlighted engagements and strategy formulation processes led to revised and enhanced strategic foundations for WASBO under the new strategy, with the revised WASBO vison being “Optimal participation of the girl child and women in sport” and the new mission being “Closing the gap to gender equity in sport.” One of the new values, in the new strategy is inclusiveness.

This is because WASBO is committed to fostering inclusion in sport, looking at women and girls with disability, and those from other disadvantaged and marginalized communities. WASBO has established partnerships with both local and international organizations to deliver in this area. One of the partnerships include offering scholarships to women with disability in Portugal through a partnership with an international organization called Integrated Dreams.

WASBO will also be partnering with The Association For International Sport For All (TAFISA) to deliver empowerment and coaching girl guides in Botswana Sport through TAFISA, NIKE and AUSC Region 5. Further, WASBO has committed to continue its delivery on the principles and commitments of the Botswana Gender and Sport Strategy which includes, addressing the sports leadership landscape, sexual harassment and gender-based violence, reviewing gender management systems, policies, gender sensitive reporting and media coverage, advocacy and empowerment and capacity building of women and girls in sport.

The pleasing thing to note is that a Sexual Harassment Policy has already been crafted and was also launched on Saturday, demonstrating WASBO’s commitment to delivering on its mandate. To achieve all these commitments that are highlighted in the new strategy, each year will be implemented through Annual Performance Plans (APP) setting out priority areas for delivery by WASBO.