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Botswana can learn from Russia

Daily News

11/09/2019

By Keonee Kealeboga

Former president, Dr Festus Mogae, says Botswana stands to benefit from its relations with Russia.

Dr Mogae shared the view in a recent interview that followed his private visit to Russia.

He said with Russia being among the world’s superpowers, it was critical for Botswana to harness every opportunity available to learn from the Russians.

The former president said one area that he believed Batswana could pursue was that of learning the Russian language.

He said with the world becoming smaller with each passing day, languages of major world economies were among the passports to advancement in the global economy.

Dr Mogae stated that it was perhaps time for Botswana to consider training citizens on the languages of the world’s major economies, particularly those with which the country had some bilateral relations.

He said many Batswana had learnt Chinese with great success, adding that this should happen with languages of other countries. Dr Mogae said during his visit, he had an opportunity to pay a courtesy call on Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mr Mikhail Bogdanov, who expressed satisfaction on the Botswana/Russia bilateral relations.

In an interview, Russia’s ambassador, Mr Victor Sibilev, said he had been informed that Mr Bogdanov and Dr Mogae discussed, among other issues, how to further develop the two countries’ bilateral relations based on the strong traditions of friendship and mutually-beneficial cooperation on certain key areas.

Mr Sibilev said the two countries had, since they established bilateral relations in 1970, made strides in their bilateral ties in a couple of areas, particularly in the humanitarian sphere, as well as in education, tourism and culture.
While he indicated that he did not have all the information regarding what was discussed during their meeting, the ambassador said he was hopeful that they also touched on the Russia-Africa summit and the Russia-Africa Economic Conference, both scheduled for next month, as well as the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Russia/Botswana diplomatic relations billed for March 6 next year.

Regarding Russian companies’ investment in Botswana, Mr Sibilev noted that while for a long time companies from his country had been biased towards the mining sector, lately some had begun to show interest in other areas such as the transport sector.