Addis Ababa — Government has invested US$11 million in the construction of embassy offices and residence for Botswana Mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The facility, which is at 10 per cent progress, entails a six-story building, with office apartments, accommodation for staff members, maintenance workshops, gatehouse and auditorium.
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi described the project as a sign of Botswana's commitment to multilateralism and its yearning for Africa's connectedness since the building is located at a home to the African Union.
The President is in Ethiopia to attend the 33rd Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of African Union.
Dr Masisi, who had an opportunity to tour the project, expressed hope that the facility would inspire diplomats serving at the mission to do more on bolstering Botswana's international affairs.
"I am happy that they will now have a place they call theirs and we expect them to perform even better," he stated.
President Masisi further noted that building of the embassy in Ethiopia was a progressive step towards strengthening Botswana's position in global affairs particularly the African continent.
He said such developments further challenged staff to not only focus on relations with other countries, but follow up on results of their work in Ethiopia.
Furthermore, he said it was government's wish to own properties where Botswana had missions as a cost-cutting measure, even though there were financial constraints.
Botswana's Ethiopia mission was opened in 1999 and had been housed on rented property.
The project manager, Mr Ben Moilwa, said the project started on February last year and was progressing smoothly. He said it was expected to be completed in August this year.
Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Unity Dow said it was important to construct an embassy in Ethiopia because it was the headquarters of the African Union and a strategic mission since Botswana's ambassador to Ethiopia was also a permanent representative.
Botswana has 23 missions abroad and has currently embarked on building two chanceries or embassy buildings in Ethiopia and Switzerland, according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, Mr Gaeimelwe Goitsemang.
Source : BOPA