Gaborone — Government appreciates the United Kingdom's valuable partnership and contribution to Botswana's development agenda.
That was said by Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Unity Dow at a farewell reception for the outgoing British High Commissioner, Ms Katharine Ransome on February 14.
Dr Dow said since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1966, UK's unyielding support for the socio-economic development had been instrumental in Botswana's progression from being one of Africa's poorest nations at independence to today's upper middle income status.
She commended Ms Ransome for continuing such legacy by working tirelessly with Batswana across a range of key issues of mutual interests which included, education, defence, women empowerment and gender equality, trade and investment, conservation as well as cyber-security.
She said in the fields of education and human resource development, Batswana students continued to find space for training in sciences and engineering courses in universities in the UK.
She said numbers continued to increase, noting that to date, about 82 Batswana had benefitted from the programme. Minister Dow said Botswana also appreciated the UK's assistance towards enhancing human capital and would further appreciate support in the quest to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy.
The minister further appreciated Peek Vision, a British social enterprise that has been working with Botswana over the past three years to design and facilitate a national school eye health programme, dubbed Pono Yame.
"I have no doubt that the Peek Vision's services and technology, will go a long way in the delivery of better vision and eye health in our schools," she said.
She added that Ms Ransome continued to contribute in addressing topical issues such as gender based violence, which she said was instrumental to the transformation agenda and attainment of Vision 2036.
Further, Dr Dow indicated that she was hopeful that the recent developments of the UK exiting the European Union would not disrupt good relations that subsisted between the two countries.
On the other hand, Ms Ransome thanked Botswana government for smooth and good working relations which made her four-year stay in the country comfortable.
Thus, she said she would be looking forward for Botswana to be part of the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in November under the leadership of the UK government.
Source : BOPA