Botswana: Consulate to Afford Two Countries Closer Collaboration

Gaborone — The opening of the Hungarian Honorary Consulate in Gaborone will afford Botswana and Hungary opportunities for closer collaboration and increased bilateral engagement.

Acting deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, Ms Benetia Chingapane said at the inauguration of the Honorary Consulate of Hungary in Botswana on Tuesday that the office would further serve to enhance service delivery to the people of the two countries.

She said the relations of the two countries had always been founded and entrenched on shared principles of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

"Our governments have both been committed to enhancing relations, as exemplified in the beginning of this year, when our minister met her Hungarian counterpart at the 1st European Union-Africa Union Ministerial meeting in Brussels and that is when the Hungarian government expressed the desire to open office in Botswana," she said.

Ms Chingapane said there were also discussions on strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of higher education and further said currently consultations were ongoing to draft a Memorandum of Understanding in this field.

She said this would go a long way in offering Batswana students scholarship to pursue graduate and postgraduate courses in Hungary.

She said the opening of the office would also enhance high level visits and business to business engagements as they played an important role in cementing relations between the two countries.

Hungarian Ambassador to Botswana based in Pretoria, Mr Andras Laszlokiraly said in 2015, Hungary decided to re-build its presence in Africa by opening the consulate office in Botswana as a strategic gateway to the Sub-Saharan region.

Mr Laszlokiraly said they had expanded the government-sponsored Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship programme that included more than 900 students from the Sub-Saharan region, who study engineering, science, teaching, among others.

Botswana is also included in this programme.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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