One of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s priorities is to make Botswana a conference destination. Masisi made the announcement on the Thursday night of June 2019 at Avani Hotel, where he had hosted a glitteriing state banquet for Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame and his wife, Jeannette.
Kagame was on a two-day state visit, the first-ever by a Rwandese president to Botswana. No timeline has been given as ti whn this milestone shoud’ve been achieved.A series of sensitisation and educational events – mostly targetting key stakeholders in government and the hospitality industry – have been set in motion to prepare the ground for this desire. They are led by the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation.
Rwanda, which 25 years ago suffered a debilitating genocide in which over 800, 000 people died, is today ranked the second most popular destination in Africa for hosting international conferences and events.The country was decorated with this accolade by the International Congress and Convention Assosciation (ICCA) in May 2019.
Among some of the attributes for Rwanda’s sterliing economic performance include the prudent management and the continuous improvement on the ease of doing business, which have “considerably boosted” the country’s creditworthiness.
Masisi said it is not “surpirsing” therefore that the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report of 2018 ranks Rwanda at position 29 out of 190 economies, which explains among other reasons why the country continues to attarct high-value investors.
Botswana hopes to tap into Rwanda’s experiences and hopefully join her “ranks very soon” as she embarks on the journey to become a conference destination of choice, Masisi said.
Botswana and Rwanda have concluded an agreement which will ultimately allow for direct flights between the two countries.The Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) will facilitate cooperation in the area of air ttransport between the two countries. Other areas of cooperation that the two leaders agreed to strengthen include trade and industry, agriculture, education and traiing, health, mining tourism and defece and law enforcement.
As for the latter, Rwanda sends police officers for training in different programmes every year to the Otse-based International Law enforcement Agencey (ILEA), which to date has trained 201 Rwandese police officers. President Mokgweetsi Masisi told his Rwandese counterpart, Paul Kagame Thursday June 2019 in Gaborone during a state banquet at Avani that Botswana regards the east African country as an “important and strategic ally in our development efforts”.
To guide their cooperation, the two leaders agreed set up a “structured bilateral framework” – Joint Permanent Comission on Cooperation (JPCC) - to provide streategic direction on “our relations”through regular meetings and to periodically take stock of bilateral relations of the two countries as well as monitor progress on agreed milestones, Masisi said.
Masisi said the JPCC will also refocus the two countries’ efforts on critical areas where they have “comparative advantage” such as animal disease control; beef production and mineral beneficiation where Botswana has made significant strides.
Rwanda’s strengths on the other hand are its successful service sector; diversified tourism sector; developed ICT and commere. Masisi said they could channel their energies in these sectors to maximise both countroes’ “mutual benefit”.
The Russian Federation considers claims by the director of the US Defence Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr, that it may be conducting very low-yield nuclear tests as a crude provocation.
This accusation is absolutely groundless and is no more than another attempt to smear Russia’s image, says a press statement posted by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana.
Regrettably, such attacks through the global media have already become routine. As a rule, they are made when Washington wants to withdraw from yet another international treaty or was exposed of violating it.
The goal is obvious – to distract world public attention from the US’s failure to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Moreover, it is possible that Washington is using this accusation to cover up its own preparations for large-scale nuclear weapons tests.
According to the statement, the Russian Federation was one of the first to ratify the CTBT in 2000. “We are strictly complying with the letter and spirit of the treaty. The moratorium that has been imposed by Russia on nuclear tests since 1991 fully conforms to the commitments under the treaty”, it said.
The CTBT was designed to become a major element of the international arms control system. “Our country considers it a foreign policy priority to facilitate its entry into force as soon as possible”, the statement said, quoting President Vladmir Putin’s statement of April 11, 2016.
The Russian Federation urges the United States again to display a responsible approach and ratify the CTBT, without which it cannot become valid. American political and military leaders should remember that a return to the nuclear tests era is fraught with the most adverse consequences for global stability.