The European Commission (EC) and the Government of Botswana on Thursday held a one-day seminar to look at the results of an evaluation of the European Commission (EC)-Botswana Development Co-operation from 1997 to 2013.
The evaluation of the EC-Botswana cooperation was undertaken in June this year with the objective of providing stakeholders with an independent assessment of current and past cooperation relations and to identify key lessons in order to improve current and past relations.
The Deputy Secretary for Development Programme, Cornelius Dekop, commended the EU for playing an important role in Botswana’s national development process.
“Botswana has always enjoyed a close and fruitful relationship with the EU and indeed its member states, which have also individually contributed to the development of this country,” he said.
He said with the withdrawal of bilateral support programmes, the EU is now by far one of the largest donors in Botswana.
He noted that the EU support has not only been in the construction of facilities such as the Gaborone and Francistown Colleges of Vocational Education and Training but also in policy and strategy formulation as well as capacity building.
Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Botswana, Ambassador Paul Malin, said the EU was pleased at the level of co-operation with our partners in the Government of Botswana.
“We feel that the current programme is appropriate for a middle income country like Botswana. Our Member States have mostly chosen to concentrate their assistance in poorer countries, but to finance the European Development Fund to support poverty alleviation throughout Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group,” he stated.
Malin added that the programme should be a combination of support to Government and to the grass roots, to non-state actors, NGOs, community organisations, the private sector and unions.
Areas of cooperation between the EU and Botswana include poverty reduction, mining, environmental protection, private sector development, gender, governance, youth, human rights, education and civil society capacity building.