Africa-Press – Botswana. The past year has been an excellent year for the EU-Botswana partnership, with good progress made on many fronts and some important milestones such as the success of the first ever EU-Botswana Business Forum in October 2023. This was said by the Head of the EU delegation to Botswana and SADC, Ms Petra Pereyra during the Botswana-EU partnership dialogue in Gaborone on Thursday.

Ms Pereyra indicated that mitigation and adaptation to climate change remained at the core of EU’s plan as it has committed to deliver a European Green Deal in accordance with the ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

“In our partnerships across the globe, we have committed to dedicate at least 30 per cent of global Europe funding instrument to climate action given that the needs are huge.

This includes our support to Botswana’s ambition to develop renewable energy,” she said. Ms Pereyra also said the partnership dialogue gave both parties an opportunity to reflect on the EU’s contribution to the Digital Transformation of Botswana.

“We have made good progress, which we want to accelerate to the extent possible to start delivering on this commitment. In the next months, we will design a new programme to strengthen the investment climate and support selected value chains to build on our achievements and create jobs,” she said.

She further indicated that EU’s priorities for the years ahead at the regional level will remain regional economic integration and trade, support to continental and regional initiatives on peace and security and the development of digital, energy and transport connections in the spirit of the Global Gateway Initiative.

She said several regional programmes were directly benefitting Botswana, in addition to the wider SADC region, including the new NatureAfrica programme, which will target two trans-boundary landscapes in Botswana and global gateway strategic corridors that will boost transport connectivity and trade for the country’s direct benefit.

Still on the regional level, Ms Pereyra indicated that the EU was closely following developments in Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and DRC in addition to the situation in Cabo Delgado, and that they very much appreciated the strong engagement of Botswana in the region. She further stated the EU’s interest in the historic Constitutional Review, which she said they have been following with great interest.

She said the EU also saluted Botswana’s principled approach and respect for international law in defending rules based on the international order, and that the dialogue between the EU and Botswana was a timely opportunity to exchange views on the global conflicts such as the Gaza-Israel conflict, which she said led to a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.

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