Friday, June 18, 2021

Khama pledges to strengthen ties with Lesotho

President Ian Khama has pledged Botswana’s commitment to further deepening and widening the scope of cooperation with Lesotho to drive economic growth and diversification for the mutual benefit of both countries.

Speaking on Monday at a state banquet in honor of His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Khama said it is his firm belief that the respective implementing sectors will diligently pursue further areas of cooperation in a timely manner and implement the commitments already made under the Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCETC) signed in May 2003 by both countries.??“One of the cardinal initiatives under this joint commission is to explore prospects of sourcing the much needed resource-water-from the highlands of your country,” said Khama.

He added that Botswana and Lesotho continue to work together tirelessly and collaborate to deliver on the development objectives of their shared vision for mutual benefit of the people and the region.┬á??“Even though the target date for our national vision is four years apart, there are great similarities amongst the guiding pillars and key deliverables,” he said.

He also noted with satisfaction the progress Lesotho is making towards attainment of the national vision 2020, which is underpinned by the overarching objective of a stable democracy and a united and prosperous nation at peace with itself and its neighbors. He pointed out that the tri-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed in March 2013 by the two countries and South Africa, under the auspices of the Orange Senqu Water River Commission is a giant step in the realization of the envisaged water project. 

?“Our economies continue to face enormous pressure to meet the needs of our people amid the prevailing challenges posed by climate change, rising energy costs, food insecurity, and the lingering effects of the world economic and financial crisis,” said Khama.┬á┬á??On food security, Khama said the agricultural sector remains pivotal for the respective countries and the region. He added that he is happy to note that the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture between the two countries has been finalized and awaits signature. He also urged the respective two Ministers to ensure that this MoU is signed at the earliest opportunity.

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