Africa-Press – Botswana. Botswana’s new ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr Tebelelo Boang sees opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit for the two countries, especially in agriculture.

Speaking in an interview at the end of the Heads of Missions conference in Gaborone recently Mr Boang noted that the two nations signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) in 2017 for cooperation in the agricultural sector.

He said Botswana and Ethiopia could work together in the beef industry because the East African country has a much more large herd of cattle than Botswana but facing challenges of animal diseases.

He said Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) could export its quality and effective animal vaccines to Ethiopia to control and eliminate some of the diseases.

Mr Boang also noted that BVI was the only reference laboratory in Africa accredited by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), adding that Botswana’s expertise in animal vaccines could be shared with Ethiopia and other African countries.

Furthermore, he noted that BVI also produced test kits to determine an animals health on the spot, adding that the kit has been certificated by the WOAH.

Furthermore, he said the genetic makeup of local cattle and small stock were superior to those of Ethiopia although they had more domestic animals, noting that Botswana could benefit by improving the quality of their cattle through artificial insemination.

“We are in a good position to assist the Ethiopians,” he said.

Mr Boang also noted that Ethiopia had a well-developed leather industry and expertise in the sector, which he said could be beneficial to Botswana since the country has plans to develop its leather industry through the envisaged Lobatse leather park. He reasoned that we could send Batswana to get training and expertise in Ethiopia as they were ready to assist.

He said Ethiopia has industrial parks which were equivalent to Botswana’s Special Economic Zones, and that the two countries could work together and share ideas on the best ways to make them more effective and productive.

He said the excellent relations between the two countries had led to Ethiopian Airlines planning to start flying into the country from June, specifically the tourist town of Maun, and that they could also transport Botswana beef to international markets as they had a superior network in the aviation industry.

He added that flying to Maun would also boost the local tourism and hospitality industry.

On other issues, Mr Boang said Botswana could help other African countries on issues of peace, democracy and respect for the rule of law as well as helping to push the African Union agenda of ‘silencing the guns’ in the continent.

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