Botswana: Partnerships Vital

Maputo — Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Unity Dow says Botswana is ready to do business with like-minded partners who will be able to help her realise the dream to become the health hub in Southern Africa.

Dr Dow said this on June 18 during a meeting she and other Botswana delegates had with Grupo San Donato, an international medical cooperation, ahead of the 12th US-Africa Business Summit in Maputo, Mozambique.

"We appreciate your interest in collaborating with us and we believe we can actually move this together.

Botswana's dream is to leverage on its location in Southern Africa and become a hub in the area of healthcare, become an epicentre for research and collaboration especially in the area of pediatric cancer," she told her hosts.

The fact that Botswana had just over two million people should therefore not be a stumbling block for potential development partners such as Grupo San Donato because by collaborating with the Southern African country the cooperation would have access to a huge market of the sub-region.

"Botswana is huge in terms of space, has a small population, but you cannot plan for yourself anymore in a contemporary world," she said.

She was hopeful that the discussions she and her team had with Grupo San Donato would ultimately give birth to concrete projects that would further improve Botswana's healthcare system.

Dr Dow's sentiments were underscored by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Ms Bogolo Kenewendo, who exuded confidence about possibilities that lied ahead as a result of possible cooperation between Botswana and Grupo San Donato.

Like Minister Dow, Ms Kenewendo said Botswana looked at herself beyond the population of just about 2.2 million, but as a strategic point from which the rest of Africa could be reached.

"We are the most land linked country in Southern Africa and this places investors in Botswana in better stead to penetrate huge markets because we are a signatory to numerous trade agreements beyond the SADC bloc.

We want to be part of your good story and our doors are wide open for doing business," she said.

Grupo San Donato's Paolo Rotelli stated that Botswana's best healthcare system in Africa coupled with the fact that the country was able to deal well with HIV/AIDS scourge in the past was the primary reason they would like to forge partnerships with the Southern African state.

"We think time is ripe to collaborate with Botswana, especially that the country wants to focus on treatment of pediatric cancer. We do not only have the right technology in this regard, we have the most sought-after and this and many other factors make Botswana an ideal partner to work with," he said.

The possible partnership between the government of Botswana and Grupo San Donato is attuned to President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi roadmap to forge partnerships with the private sector with a view to improve the general welfare of the people of Botswana.

"The partnership between government and the private sector must be strengthened, consolidated and intensified to propel this country to greater heights in terms of economic stimulation, job creation and sustainable economic growth," Dr Masisi had said in his inauguration speech in April last year.

Source : BOPA

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