Botswana: Masisi Attends ACP Summit

Francistown — The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, is in Kenya for the ninth Africa, Caribbean and Pacific's (ACP) summit of heads of state and government.

President Masisi, who will address the group on a number of topics, is accompanied by among others; the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Unity Dow, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ms Peggy Serame and senior government officials.

The two-day summit will be held under the theme; A Transformed ACP; Committed to Multilateralism.

Minister Dow said in an interview in Nairobi on Saturday that the summit would delve on three primary issues of the appointment of the new ACP secretary general, review of the Georgetown Agreement with a view to transform the organisation (ACP) into a multilateral organisation and negotiate the successor agreement following expiration of the Cotonou Agreement next February.

According to Minister Dow, Botswana had benefitted tremendously from the Cotonou Agreement in many areas including giving the Southern African nation's beef access into the European market.

"When you see European Union (EU) in Botswana, you must know that the Cotonou Agreement is the framework around which they come. The beef that we sell to the EU market is as a result of this important agreement," she said, adding that last year about 10 schools in Botswana were electrified thanks to the Cotonour Agreement.

Dr Dow relayed however that it was not going to be business as usual as member states were gunning for transformation.

When officially opening the ACP council of ministers that preceded the summit on December 7, the vice president of Kenya, Mr William Ruto reminded ACP member states who were in attendance about the importance of the positive outcome of the deliberations during the meeting.

He said it was important, therefore, for member states to build on passed achievements of ACP, dating back 44-years and come up with even more impactful articulations that would help propel the vision of the organisation forward.

"We look forward to solidarity in confronting both individual and common regional challenges we all share," he said.

Besides the 79 heads of state that make up ACP as well as non-heads of state and government, ministers, partners among others; European Union, United Nations, private sector, philanthropists and other international organisations will form part of the summit.

ACP group was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975 and its primary goals were centered around sustainable development of member states as well as their gradual integration into the global economy, consolidation of unity and solidarity among ACP states.

Source : BOPA

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