By IDN-INPS Africa Desk
BERLIN – Germany regards Botswana as one of Africa’s success stories. The landlocked country is the seat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other organisations. Women hold some positions in politics and society, including at the highest levels.
Ahead of the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the country’s independence on September 30, Professor Maria Boehmer, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office said: “In many different ways, Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories.”
On the eve of her departure to the country, she said: “It is also of great importance to me personally to support the endeavours to empower women in politics, business, academia and culture. Professional education gives young people opportunities in their own country. Enhancing young people’s professional education is an important task throughout Africa, also as regards preventing the reasons why people flee.”
Boehmer is visiting Botswana August 23-26 to hold talks with Foreign Minister Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Education Minister Dr Unity Dow, Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe and other senior personalities from the spheres of business, culture and politics.
The focus of the talks will be on paying tribute to the positive developments in Botswana, professional education and strengthening women’s role in civil society, the German Foreign Office said in a press release.
In view of Botswana’s impressive economic development thanks to its diamond reserves, because of which it is now classified as an upper middle-income country, bilateral Financial Cooperation was terminated in 1992. Bilateral Technical Cooperation ended in 2004.
However, a separate agreement in March 2004 provides for the continuation of bilateral development cooperation with a focus on vocational training. Under a co-financing arrangement, Botswana’s government and the Botswana Chamber of Mines cover 70 per cent of the costs here.
According to the German Foreign Office, there are currently 24 development workers engaged in bilateral development cooperation in Botswana. As a result of talks held in late 2014 and early 2015, the programme is to be continued for another three years.
Negotiations on its continuation beyond this date – with Botswana assuming a growing share of the funding – are ongoing. Botswana also participates in the EU’s extensive development cooperation and German cooperation with the Southern African Development Community. [IDN-INPS – 23 August 2016]
Photo: House of the Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
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