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Botswana-Russia relations in golden jubilee next year

Daily News


By Aubrey Maswabi

Botswana-Russia cordial and mutually beneficial relations will hit the 50 year mark in March next year.

Speaking during Russian day celebrations in Gaborone on June 11,  Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Dr Unity Dow said this was a clear indication of the strong bond of friendship and cooperation that subsisted between the two countries.

The bilateral relations between the two countries was evidenced by the assistance Botswana got from Russia, she said.

Currently, the minister said, there were 63 Batswana students studying in various institutions in Russia under the Russian government scholarship. 

Dr Dow said the areas of study included medicine, engineering, microelectronics, economics as well as computer design and technology. 

She said this would go a long way in contributing to human capital and capacity needed to advance Botswana’s development goals.

Dr Dow reminisced that during her recent visit to Russia, she  had a tête-à-tête  with 23 of the students updating them on key issues of national importance in Botswana and they in turn informed her about their experiences in that country.

For his part, the Russian ambassador to Botswana Mr Victor Sibilev said the cooperation between Botswana and Russia covered the fields of diplomacy, defence, education, health, trade and mining.

He said Russia contributed to the training of 60 Botswana specialists annually on long and short term basis in different areas such as mining, engineering, medicine and law enforcement.

Mr Sibilev said the Russia-Africa business session held last week gave participants the opportunity to discuss in detail issues of the state and prospects for developing Russia’s partnership with African countries and accelerating their interaction in political, economic and humanitarian fields.