Gaborone — Botswana and India have for a long time shared strong and unique relations driven by common interests, says Indian High Commissioner to Botswana Dr Rajesh Ranjan.
He was speaking at India's 73rd independence celebrations in Gaborone recently.
Common interests in democratic principles, he said, were a perfect example of south-south cooperation between the two countries.
Dr Ranjan said the partnership with Botswana was a strong pillar in India's foreign policy formulation and approach to inter-state relations.The partnership between the two countries spans traditional areas of trade and commerce, defence, frontiers of digital technology and strong academic and people to people links, said the high commissioner.
He also said India's assistance to Botswana in capacity building was an important element of the two countries' bilateral relations.
Dr Ranjan explained that the partnership was primarily guided by Botswana's priorities adding that the long-standing programmes were meant to enhance the potential of the country's talents and skills in a wide range of specialised areas so as to match with the local opportunities.
He revealed that in 2018 alone, 250 scholarship slots in various disciplines ranging from agriculture, science and technology, entrepreneurship training, technical skills, defence and solar energy were utilised by Botswana alone.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ms Botlogile Tshireletso noted that India had been a consistent source of skills and capacity building assistance for Botswana in a wide range of sectors.
Ms Tshireletso further noted that the bilateral relations between the two have allowed India to make further commitments to strengthen and expand the scope of cooperation, including in innovative areas such as medicine and tele-education services.
The government of India, she said, offered 140 training slots across the public sector, 18 of which were for junior diplomats at the Indian Diplomatic Institute.
Ms Tshireletso also said Botswana took note of the equally shared values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights as well as the general principles of international law.
She further commended the Indian government for having held free and fair elections in May this year.
Source : BOPA