The newly appointed British High Commissioner to Botswana Katy Ransome outlined her priorities in office. In an exclusive interview with Sunday Standard, she revealed that her main priorities are trade and investment, security and providing consular assistance to British nationals in Botswana. She said although security is a less priority, it is nevertheless relevant to Botswana.
With regards to the economy, her Excellency Ransome says diversification could help boost the economy, adding that development of the private sector and addressing barriers to trade must take precedence if Botswana is to break through on the economic front.
“Economic ties, cultural and religious beliefs, environmental issues, security, health challenges amongst many others have not stopped at national boundaries and in today’s world interests are increasingly intertwined which made the role of diplomats immensely important and even more complex,” she stated.
Ransome also emphasised that close partnerships are fundamental in today’s world characterised by a global network of interlocking interests. Further she appreciated the support and development assistance that Botswana enjoys from other countries particularly the British government.
With regards to security the High Commissioner stated that “Terrorism is not a welcome thing and there is a lot of work we need to do for us to find the cause of it and make sure that it does not happen in Botswana as well as other countries.”
She also said representing the British government in its relations with Botswana and supporting British interests in Botswana are at the core of her mandate. Amongst other things, she said she will be working with the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), based in Gaborone, on a range of political and economic issues. She also pointed out that the relations between Botswana and Britain are excellent as evidenced by both countries appointing resident High Commissioners in each other’s capitals.
“I have a similar approach with my predecessors and education in terms our scholarships is another interesting area to look into. I am passionate about nature conservation on animals, plants and the environment,” said Ransome.
She underscored the need to strengthen the commercial ties between the two countries as it helps create a sustainable world for the generations to come. She also stated that Britain is one of Botswana’s dependable and trusted business partner, adding that the two countries have forged a strong relationship based on mutual respect, which has been manifested in cooperation over the years.
“Our governments recognise that is it paramount to provide an environment which will allow the private sector to thrive and generate wealth,” Ransome stated.
Ransome has been appointed British High Commissioner to Botswana in succession to Nicholas Pyle, who was transferred to another Diplomatic Service appointment. She was appointed in February this year.