12 July 2018

Botswana: New Envoys Talk Economic Diplomacy

Gaborone — Uganda and Indonesia envoys yesterday presented credentials to President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the Office of the President.

The two are Ms Barbara Oundo of Uganda and Mr Salman Al Farisi of Indonesia.

Speaking to journalists after the presentation, Ms Oundo said Botswana and Uganda had long standing relations which should be strengthened further.

She said Africa was relatively peaceful and stable noting that the peace should be used as a pre-requisite to accelerate growth and economic stability.

"We are going to grow our economies to improve the welfare of our people, from political diplomacy to economical diplomacy," she said.

Ms Oundo said her letters of credence to Botswana was a green light for Uganda to explore possible areas of mutual interest to ensure growth of the economies of the two countries.

She said Uganda was an agricultural country and that the two countries could exchange skills on the agricultural sector from subsistence farming to agro-processing.

"We want to see industrialisation in the agricultural sector. This could create jobs for Ugandans and Batswana," she said.

She further said there were possibilities to explore cooperation in the mineral sector as Botswana was rich in diamonds while Uganda had oil, gold and other non-oil resources.

She said a lot of beneficiation projects in Africa were taken away by foreigners adding that it was high time African countries found the means of using God given resources for their own benefit.

Meanwhile, Mr Al Farisi said his country would explore all possible areas of co-operation adding that he was committed to do everything to help bilateral co-operation.

Indonesia, he said, was promoting economic diplomacy through Indonesia Africa Forum which he said was successful revealing that his country would host Indonesia-Africa Development Dialogue envisaged to open areas of cooperation and development.

Mr Al Farisi said his country was endowed with skills in fields such as development of dry ports, power plants and railways, which may be of great assistance to Botswana.

On the other hand, Indonesia wanted to learn about tourism from Botswana, he said.

The two are based in Pretoria, South Africa.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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