Gaborone — Although much still needs to be done to foster closer people to people relations, Botswana and Brazil have enjoyed 34 years of good bilateral relations which continue to be strengthened by their governments.
This was expressed by Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Machana Shamukuni on September 11 during Brazil's national day commemoration hosted by Brazilian ambassador to Botswana and SADC special envoy Mr Ricardo Diniz.
Mr Shamukuni said relations between Botswana and the Latin American state were based on the values of peace, democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law.
He noted that Brazil had been rendering assistance to Botswana in fields such as education, defence, trade, health and agriculture.
"We express our profound gratitude to the government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on the significant contribution it has made, particularly in the agricultural sector. This cooperation emanated from the Agreement on Technical Cooperation signed in July 2005, which was later supplemented by a complementary agreement focused on development of cooperatives and rural associations in Botswana in March 2010," Mr Shamukuni said.
The assistant minister said in addition the Brazil Cooperation Agency has revatilised community cooperatives in Botswana, in particular at Lentsweletau.
Mr Shamukuni said the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation in May 2018.
The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre participated in the Rio de Janeiro World Chamber of Commerce Congress in June while the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority undertook study tours to the country to benchmark on the effective use of biofuels.
In his remarks, Mr Diniz said the majority of Brazilians recognised themselves as having African roots and that the country had 38 resident embassies in Africa, including in Botswana.
"Brazil's foreign policy prioritises relations with the African continent, and these objectives are at the very heart of Brazil's relations with Botswana. As one of the fastest growing and more stable economies in Africa, Botswana is a partner that Brazil values and seeks to prioritise," Mr Diniz said.
The Brazilian envoy said the two countries' technical cooperation extended to sports development, HIV/AIDS prevention, agricultural research, social development and cultural and educational development.
He said the Brazilian Cooperation Agency was implementing the second phase of a pilot project that led to the establishment of a horticulture cooperative in the Kweneng region. The prospects of extending such cooperation to other areas were promising, he said.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>