Botswana, EU Share Values

| May 13, 2015

Government is grateful that the European Union (EU) appreciates that the country still faces challenges of poverty, unemployment, lack of industry appropriate skills and other challenges.

Speaking at the EU Day in Gaborone on May 11, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Venson-Moitoi said Botswana regarded EU as a strategic partner in development. She added that the country had benefited from the generous assistance that the EU had provided over the years to complement the country’s development efforts.

The minister thanked the EU team for showing a similar vision of equal and balanced development during the successful Economic Partnership Agreements for the goods sector and called for the same during the services sector negotiations.

She said Botswana considered its relationship with the EU to be of utmost importance in ensuring sustainable development. The minister added that the negotiations were critical for Botswana’s private sector, which the country looked up to for the development of its industries and to open up avenues for employment creation.

For his part, the EU Ambassador to Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Mr Alexander Baum said every year EU delegations around the world hosted receptions on the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration on May 9, which was widely seen as the nucleus of the European Union as it was today.

He said the birth of a seemingly absurd idea to unite European states into one single community was made by the French foreign minister in 1950.

He noted that a year later, a European Community for coal and steel was established with the aim to integrate the industries of France and Germany. Mr Baum also noted that the industries of the two European countries formed the basis for the war machines in the first half of the century, and that the integration was to make war physically impossible.

Mr Baum said since then the European Union project has remained a unique experiment that has inspired other regions around the world, notably in Africa, to embrace regional integration and to learn from the EU’s experience.

He noted that Gaborone was the seat of the SADC secretariat, which he said was a co-responsibility for SADC projects to progress and succeed.

He said the EU and Botswana share friendship, values and interests, adding that they have common interests in many of the global challenges such as climate change.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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