Gaborone — A technical committee is to be convened in two weeks time to articulate areas of deepening relations between Botswana and Qatar, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
He told the media on April 16 shortly after his arrival from Qatar that the committee would specify projects of mutual interest.
Dr Masisi said lessons would be learnt from the Qataris' pool of skills in the area of special economic zones.
He said Botswana had also drawn a lot of inspiration from the Qataris on the issue of citizenship and economic empowerment.
"As a country, we may even legislate for it so that they involve citizens," he said.
The President said measures would have to be put in place to ensure there was no recycling of citizens in such skills and that sensitivity was exercised in the geographical spread of economic diversification.
"There are quite a number of low hanging fruits in logistics and supply chain, financial services, management arts and craft," he said.
Dr Masisi said there were a number of opportunities that Botswana would utilise following his two-day state visit to Qatar in an effort to create avenues for employment.
He said government would work with Qatar to learn from the Qataris prowess in project management skills.
The President cited the completion of eight stadia in Doha alone in readiness for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted by Qatar.
"They are few like us but they keep ownership of their country and there are on top of their game and they are the biggest beneficiaries of their own development. As we speak, they are just rehearsing for events they will be hosting," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Masisi has said Botswana and Qatar were allies in expressing views and sharing political notes hence the signing of an MoU on political cooperation.
"Qatar is under siege and Botswana should align to them and be sympathetic to a small country like Qatar that is made to suffer for reasons that we are not convinced about," he said.
President Masisi said Botswana drew valuable lessons during the Frontline States era when the country was under siege and sought friends believing in multilateralism.
He described Qatar as liberal in that they were open minded and welcomed different views.
The MoU, he said, would help Botswana mobilise Qatar's support at multilateral fora in the event the need arose.
Saying the two-day state visit was successful and fulfilling, the President said the two countries agreed to broaden diplomatic relations and that an invitation had been extended to the Emir of Qatar to visit Botswana.
Botswana and Qatar have had diplomatic ties since November 2006.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>