Luanda — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says his visits to SADC capitals afford him an opportunity to discuss regional developments, share Botswana's interests and scout for roles that Batswana can play in international organisations.
Dr Masisi, who was on a working visit to Angola, told BOPA upon arrival in Luanda Sunday that the visits signified the importance Botswana attached to friendship with regional member states.
He said the visits allowed him to interact with other presidents on different matters.
Dr Masisi said the interactions allowed him to gauge the response, measure the reception, and asses the feedback he gets in order to make an informed decisions.
President Masisi said he was emulating past generations of leaders who encouraged dialogue, mutual respect and tolerance in the interest of peace and for the benefit of the people.
Such style of leadership had over the years benefited the country and helped it to navigate through challenges in the region with 19 people killed by wild animals despite its population size and status, he said.
President Masisi said Botswana needed all countries in the region to prosper which could only happen by nourishing friendships.
He said he prioritised re-positioning Botswana's brand on the world map when he assumed the presidency by engaging with other leaders in person, to cultivate opportunities for Batswana.
"It is important for me re-introduce Botswana's brand to the region and what it stands for as the President, to show the importance attached to this friendship," President Masisi stated.
Dr Masisi said as the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security chairperson, he continued to engage all regional leaders who gave him the mandate to lead the organ on their behalf.
The President further stated that the visit to Angola allowed him to canvass support for Mr Elias Magosi who was eyeing the SADC executive secretary position.
Botswana and Angola share a lot in common with the former having hosted and given citizenship to people of Angolan origin who reside in Etsha areas.
Such ties, President Masisi said, needed constant nurturing.
Source : BOPA