Foreign relations of Botswana
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Botswana has put a premium on economic and political integration in southern Africa. It has sought to make SADC a working vehicle for economic development, and it has promoted efforts to make the region self-policing in terms of preventative diplomacy, conflict resolution, and good governance. It has welcomed post-apartheid South Africa as a partner in these efforts. Botswana joins the African consensus on most major international matters and is a member of international organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union. Botswana is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98).
Botswana has a small number of diplomatic missions abroad.
Botswana–Namibia relations are friendly, with the two neighbouring countries cooperating on economic development. Botswana gained independence from Britain in September 1966. Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990 following the Namibian War of Independence. Botswana has a high commission in Windhoek. Namibia has a high commission in Gaborone.
Botswana and the Soviet Union initiated diplomatic relations on March 6, 1970. Despite its pro-Western orientation, Botswana participated in the 1980 Summer Olympics. The present-day relations between the two countries are described as friendly and long standing. In March, the two countries also celebrated the 35th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. According to the minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia was one of the first countries to establish full diplomatic relations with Botswana.
Trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Botswana are stipulated by the Trade Agreement of 1987 and the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation of 1988. The Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Botswana signed the Agreement on Cultural, Scientific and Educational Cooperation in September 1999. Russia and Botswana have had fruitful cooperation in a variety of fields, particularly in human resource development. And Russia is still offering more scholarship in key sectors such as health, which is currently experiencing a critical shortage of manpower. Botswana also is one of the countries where Russian citizens do not require a visa. Russia has an embassy in Gaborone, while Botswana covers Russia from its embassy in Stockholm (Sweden) and an honorary consulate in Moscow.
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The United States considers Botswana an advocate of and a model for stability in Africa and has been a major partner in Botswana's development since its independence. The U.S. Peace Corps returned to Botswana in August 2002 with a focus on HIV/AIDS-related programs after concluding 30 years of more broadly targeted assistance in 1997. Similarly, the USAID phased out a long-standing bilateral partnership with Botswana in 1996, after successful programs emphasizing education, training, entrepreneurship, environmental management, and reproductive health. Botswana, however, continues to benefit along with its neighbours in the region from USAID's Initiative for Southern Africa, now based in Pretoria, and USAID's Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub, head-quartered in Gaborone. The United States International Board of Broadcasters (IBB) operates a major Voice of America (VOA) relay station in Botswana serving most of the African continent.
In 1995, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) started the BOTUSA Project in collaboration with the Botswana Ministry of Health in order to generate information to improve tuberculosis control efforts in Botswana and elsewhere in the face of the TB and HIV/AIDS co-epidemics. Under the 1999 U.S. Government's Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic (LIFE) Initiative, CDC through the BOTUSA Project has undertaken many projects and has assisted many organizations in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana. Botswana is one of the 15 focus countries for PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, and has received more than $230 million since the program began in January 2004 through September 2007. PEPFAR assistance to Botswana, which totalled $76.2 million in FY 2007, is contributing to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care interventions.
The Governments of Botswana and the United States entered into an agreement in July 2000 to establish an International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone. The academy, jointly financed, managed and staffed by the two nations, provides training to police and government officials from across the Sub-Saharan region. The academy's permanent campus, in Otse outside of Gaborone, opened March 2003. Over 3,000 law enforcement professionals from Sub-Saharan Africa have received training from ILEA since it began offering classes in 2001.
Principal U.S. Officials
- Ambassador—Stephen J. Nolan
- Deputy Chief of Mission—Philip R. Drouin
- Office of Security Cooperation (previously Defence Cooperation)--LTC William M. Wyatt
- Centres for Disease Control—Dr. Margarett Davis
- International Board of Broadcasters—George Miller
- International Law Enforcement Agency—Stan Moran
- Peace Corps—Peggy McClure
The U.S. Embassy is in Gaborone. OSC (previously ODC)is located at the embassy. CDC is located on Ditlhakore Way in Gaborone. ILEA is located in Otse, about 30 minutes outside Gaborone. The IBB station is located in Selebi-Phikwe, about 400 kilometres north-east of Gaborone.
Botswana still struggles to seal its border from thousands of Zimbabweans who flee economic collapse and political persecution. Due to Mugabe's policy toward White Africans, Botswana (along with the Czech Republic), Botswana's embassy in Harare is still operational.
Botswana and the Commonwealth of Nations
Botswana has been a Commonwealth republic since independence in 1966.
- "Botswana establishes relations with Samoa, Guinea Bissau" 30 March 2010 Link retrieved 1 April 2010
- "Botswana High Commission Website in Namibia". Botswana Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- "Namibia Embassy in Botswana". Retrieved 2009-07-14.
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