Relations between Botswana and Brazil were further strengthened at the two countries’ first session of the joint permanent commission for cooperation, held last week in Gaborone.
The Botswana delegation was led by Newman Kahiya, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, while the Brazilian delegation was led by the Vice Minister of Political Affairs for Africa and the Middle East, Ministry of External Relations, Ambassador Piragibe Tarrag├┤.
During the meeting, the two parties reviewed progress and development in their bilateral cooperation particularly in the areas of health, sport, agriculture, education and culture.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani, said that the agreements that were signed are testimony to the great potential for increased cooperation between Botswana and Brazil.
“It is for this reason that we converge here today to seek opportunities for cooperation for the mutual benefit of our two nations,” he said.
Bilateral relations between Botswana and Brazil started in 1985, when the two countries signed memoranda of understanding in areas of sports and HIV/AIDS.
Former President Festus Mogae visited Brazil in 2005, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva reciprocated a year later. These visits provided an important platform from which the two countries were able to establish further cooperation in HIV-AIDS, health, sport and agriculture.
Both countries have abolished visa requirements for visiting diplomatic nationals.
Despite being categorized as a middle income country, Brazil has achieved remarkable success with its economic and social development initiatives. Brazil is the ninth largest economy in the world, with a GDP that surpasses $1.6 trillion dollars.
Predictions show that the Brazilian economy will be one of the five largest in the world in a few decades to come.
Since the 1990s, Brazil took important steps to attain fiscal sustainability and liberalize and open the economy. These measures have significantly boosted the country’s competitive fundamentals and provided a better environment for private-sector development.
To further the bilateral cooperation, Botswana and Brazil signed three supplementary agreements on technical cooperation for the implementation of the project social inclusion through the practice of sports, beef cattle production systems and agricultural cooperatives and associations.
“We are conscious of the amount of progress that Brazil has registered in various fields such as the energy and technology sector, and as such our country would want to learn from these experiences of your country,” said Skelemani.
Botswana and Brazil could in future explore relations on energy, particularly in the field of biofuels.
Brazil regards biofuels as a sustainable development tool that can address global climate change and the global quest for poverty alleviation and energy security.
A communiqu├® from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the two countries further agreed to explore cooperation possibilities in sectors such as energy, trade, mining and water resources, science and technology, communications, environment and tourism, planning and police.