Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana
Tel.: (267) 3953-389
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12 september

Speech by H.E. the Ambassador of Russia to Botswana Mr. Victor Sibilev on the occasion of The Meeting with the Students departing to study in Russia, September 12, 2019

(~5 minutes)

Hounorable Assistant Minister, Esteemed Director dear friends, dear guests,

I’m proud to welcome all of you at the Russian Embassy’s Cultural Centre. Today we have a very special day. It has become a tradition in almost 50 years old history of diplomatic relations between Russia and Botswana to send young people from Botswana to study in Russian Universities. This year we send 21 young and promising Botswana Students which is possible thanks to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development of the Republic of Botswana on cooperation in the field of education. This great success was achieved in June 2016 during the visit of the former Minister of Education and Skills Development and current Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Hounorable Dr. Unity Dow.

Thus, I take this opportunity to congratulate all of you and your parents on the beginning of the new school year, which is traditionally celebrated in Russia on the First of September. In Russia we call it – the Knowledge Day.

The world is continuously changing, it becomes more and more complicated, sciences and technology are developing. So everyone needs good education and knowledge in a large spectre of professions. This is why this year we have 5 students who will study general medicine, 10  ‑ engineering and ICT and 6 ‑ humanitarian sciences. Today there are more than 14 000 Africans studying in Russian Universities, with more than 1500 budget scholarships issued annualy.

We are confident that you are the most able, talented and clever. You are the future of the prosperous Botswana. You will have to transform Botswana for better, to reinforce the economy and welfare of the people. The majority of students from Botswana are studying in the cities of central and southern Russia - Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh, Krasnodar and others. You shall join them and enjoy the beauties of these famous places.

A serious number of students from Botswana graduated from Russian and Soviet Universities many years ago. Before and now they have leading political, economic, business and military positions. Among them are Honourable High Commissioner of Botswana to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Mr. J. Seakgosing and Honourable Ms. Botlgile Tshireletso - Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Besides, many Botswana graduates from Russian educational institutions are working in different companies, universities and research centers. Hopefully you will also become good specialists and may take positions of ministers, generals or prominent statesmen.

I am satisfied to say that the mutual traditionally friendly and cordial relations of Russia and Botswana have been rapidly expanding in many areas. This applies to education, healthcare, law enforcement, trade, economics, military and technical cooperation,.

I wish to congratulate you on the beginning of your studies in Russia and wish you success in this new stage of your life.

I would also like to announce that on the 6th of March, 2020, Russia and Botswana celebrate the golden jubilee of our relations - 50 years of friendship and mutual respect, which defy our bilateral ties, so I hope that you shall be good Botswana envoys during the period of your stay in Russia.

I avail myself of this opportunity to wish peace and prosperity, good health, wellbeing and great success to all of you! As we say in our language Udachi (Good luck).