Africa-Press – Botswana. Botswana is always looking towards forging partnerships with multilateral development partners, Vice President Mr Slumber Tsogwane has said.
Speaking in an interview, Thursday on arrival from a attending the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr Tsogwane said he used the opportunity to address the Summit to market developmental efforts the country was pursuing, in addition to luring potential partners.
“I expressed the gratitude on behalf of our President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi for the invite Botswana received to participate at the BRICS Summit. I also stressed that the Summit theme: BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism,” was of interest to Botswana, as we are promoting such values domestically and to the world,” Mr Tsogwane said.
The Vice President added that while Botswana was making strides in working towards attaining key objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the country continued to require funding options for development projects.
“The BRICS have their own bank, New Development Bank (NDB), and during deliberations, African states expressed the desire that lending rates should be better than those of existing international financial institutions. Lessons have been learnt from the manner international institutions are structured, and we hope for a more democratic dispensation,” Mr Tsogwane said.
In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Lemogang Kwape, who accompanied the Vice President to the Summit said Botswana was a friend to all, enemy to none and related to institutions such as the BRICS in addition to other international institutions borne out of a desire for development and promotion of core national values.
“We believe in the rule of law, peaceful resolution to conflict, multilateralism, democracy and sustainable development. We relate with different countries and regional blocks across the world to promote these values, and seek development partnerships that would benefit our nation,” Dr Kwape said.
He added that Botswana had sound diplomatic relations with the core members of the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which he said constitute 42 per cent of the global population and a third of the global economy, and Botswana sought to assess further beneficial trade and development linkages.
“This is a large economic trading block, constituting a large market, close to half of the world’s consumers and it is important to seek trade linkages for our benefit.
Botswana believes in the principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter, which we believe should be respected, and we participated in issues discussed at the Summit, including improved development financing lending, sustainable development and climate change,” Dr Kwape said.
Made of five core countries, all large scale emerging economies, the BRICS was established in 2009, initially by Brazil, Russia, India and China, who used the name BRIC, an acronym of the four states. The name was altered to BRICS with the addition of South Africa a year later in 2010.
They later established their development bank, NDB in July 2014, with an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion, headquartered in Shanghai China, and a regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to provide technical assistance to projects supported by the bank.
At the just ended Summit in Johannesburg, six other large scale emerging markets- Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the BRICS.