The inaugural Xere Cultural Festival hosted on Saturday (September 16) in Xere – a village 14km from Rakops in the Boteti District in Botswana – will become an annual event to diversify the country’s wildlife-based tourism, according to Acting President Slumber Tsogwane.
He said the Xere Cultural Festival would not only celebrate the rich Sesarwa culture, but would also be a resource that people of Sesarwa origin could exploit for economic benefit.
Tsogwane said the cultural festival had come at an opportune time when the Botswana government had just launched the mindset change concept.
The concept aims to drive transformation and foster a collective shift in attitudes and perspectives.
Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Boyce Sebetlela, explained that the national mindset change campaign was a call for citizens to unite behind a vision of shared principles into the national development framework as pillars of high-performance culture.
Tsogwane said the festival captured the idea of the mindset change, as it was set to diversify wildlife tourism by also showcasing culture.
The Acting Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mabuse Pule, noted that the government had reserved BWP6 million (€411 270) for the development of the Xere Cultural Centre, adding that the United Nations Development Programme had also supported the initiative with a BWP500 000 (€34 266) donation.
He said the Xere Conservation Trust members would embark on a benchmarking exercise in Cape Town to learn more about tourism and how to run major events.