9 June 2019

Botswana: Masisi, Senegal Counterpart Share Notes

Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi paid a courtesy call on the president of Senegal, Mr Macky Sall, on the former's return lap from the United States.

The two presidents, who met on President Masisi's overnight stay in Dakar on June 6, touched on a range of issues from geo-politics, governance and other issues of mutual interest.

"There is a huge scope of collaboration between the two countries and I raised this with our deputy ambassador there to look into those," President Masisi said at a press briefing in Gaborone on June 7.

He also stated that he invited President Sall to visit Botswana and he was likely to do so next month.

Similarly, Mr Sall asked President Masisi to pay a state visit to Senegal in future.

This exercise was part of President Masisi's attempt to market and position Botswana within the international community and expand its foreign relations portfolio within the continent and beyond.

A week prior to his meeting with President Sall, President Masisi made a stopover to Dakar on his way to the US and he met one of Senegalese ministers where they shared notes on ground breaking developments.

Senegal's infrastructural developments caught President Masisi's eye leading to enquire on its source of funding.

"Most of it is through debt. In fact, their debt to GDP ratio is up to 60 per cent but they assured me that they manage this through a private-public-partnership approach," he stated.

President Masisi also commended Senegal's impressive cement industry, of which 33 per cent o was exported.

"This improves our standing in the community of nations because all of them told me how important they thought Botswana was particularly as it was increasingly being seen as a beacon of good governance and a beacon of stellar development practices," he said.

As a remembrance of the heinous crimes against humanity through slave trade, President Masisi suggested that Senegal or The Gambia could lead an initiative where the continent could dedicate a day to honour Africans and their descendants whose lives were lost or impacted through the slave trade.

"We owe it to ourselves," he said.

President Masisi also announced that Rwanda president, Mr Paul Kagame, was also due to visit Botswana soon with a number of other heads of states expected to grace Botswana's shores in future.

"We are getting out there in the world and we are being taken note of, we therefore shall continue to increase knowledge about Botswana globally," he noted.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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