14 April 2019

Botswana: Visit Breaks Fresh Ground

Doha — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is in Qatar on a two-day state visit that is expected to break fresh ground on various sectors of development.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, Mr Gaeimelwe Goitsemang, said in an interview on April 12 that advance teams from the two nations had already laid groundwork that President Masisi and his Qatar counterpart, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani would deliberate on.

"As advance party, we have engaged with critical stakeholders in Qatar prior to the arrival of President Masisi with a view to see to it that the visit becomes a success. Since April 9, we have engaged extensively with different stakeholders here focusing on areas such as agriculture, energy, tourism, trade and investment," he said.

Mr Goitsemang said the two nations' partnership formed core of President Masisi roadmap, which focused on job creation and economic diversification.

Qatar, he stated, had been identified by Botswana as a strategic partner in economic transformation trajectory.

Mr Goitsemang did not want to let slip specific details of what had been agreed upon by Botswana and Qatar teams, saying it was a bridge that would only be crossed after bilateral engagements by the two leaders.

"But based on the engagements thus far, I would say the discussions went well and it is promising," he said, adding that the latest engagements followed proper engagements by the two nations in 2006 by a delegation from Qatar who visited Botswana, which was followed by a ministerial visit in 2015.

He said, though the visit was a first by the head of state from Botswana, it demonstrated commitment by the two heads of state to engage meaningfully on issues that could advance development efforts for mutual benefit of the people from the two states.Accompanying President Masisi is among others; Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Unity Dow, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Transport and Communications, Ms Dorcas Makgato, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy, Mr Eric Molale, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Patrick Ralotsia, Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Bogolo Kenewendo and senior government officials.

Source: BOPA

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