Botswana: Two Diplomats Present Credentials

Gaborone — Two envoys representing Australia and Czech Republic Ms Gita Kamath and Mr Pavel Rezac respectively presented letters of credence to President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi on December 3.

In an interview after handing her letters of credence, Ms Kamath applauded the long standing ties between Botswana and Australia.

She said the two countries had strong links even at international fora level citing the Kimberly Process.

"The Kimberly Process is trying to remove conflict diamonds from the supply chain which will have an impact in combating transnational crime and conflict. That is an area of strong cooperation," she said.

Another area of cooperation was fire management, she said noting that the two countries had similar climatic conditions with large areas of savanna prone to wildfires.

"We have a long cooperation on fire management and a project of reintroducing indigenous fire management practices, Australia has been practicing and it is a very successful project, not only traditional but combining with technology to better mitigate fire challenges," she added.

She said part of her mandate was to build on the trade investment partnership saying a number of Australian companies were active in Botswana in different sectors while others were willing to open shop in the country.

"We also have a long standing scholarship programme with Botswana called the Australian Awards Programme. Over the last 10 years, about 200 Batswana students have won scholarships to study in areas of agricultural productivity, public policy and extractives," she said.

For his part, the Czech ambassador said the level of cooperation between Botswana and Czech Republic was impressive.

Mr Rezac however said there was still space to improve on international trade cooperation.

He said he wanted to connect Czech companies to work with young Batswana especially on vocational training. The two countries were working on a bilateral agreement on science and technology, he said.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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