Federal Council receives Botswana’s President Masisi on state visit

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Switzerland

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi will journey to Switzerland together with his spouse Neo Jane Masisi for a state visit on the finish of the week. Along with President Alain Berset, he’ll attend the Landsgemeinde in Appenzell Innerrhoden on Sunday 30 April. A reception by all the Federal Council and political discussions in Bern are scheduled for Monday 1 Might. The invitation comes as an acknowledgment of Botswana’s democratic traditions and underscores the desire to grab the alternatives raised by cooperation. The Federal Council is eager to broaden relations with the African continent as an entire.

The Swiss and Botswanan delegations will focus on areas for the event of bilateral relations. These embody cooperation within the well being sector and tradition in addition to in financial affairs. A major a part of the discussions might be dedicated to regional points regarding southern Africa and cooperation throughout the UN framework. Each international locations may even define their positions on present world points.

Federal Councillor Man Parmelin, head of the Federal Division of Financial Affairs, Schooling and Analysis (EAER), and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Division of Overseas Affairs (FDFA), may even participate within the official talks. A conventional gala dinner might be held within the night.

Previous to the official a part of the programme in Bern, Presidents Masisi and Berset will visit the Landsgemeinde in Appenzell Innerrhoden on Sunday. Botswana has comparable public conferences referred to as kgotlas, that are important to the nation’s democratic custom. This similarity with Botswana was already famous by President Berset throughout his visit there in February, when the Swiss delegation additionally attended a kgotla.

Contacts expanded

Whereas relations between Switzerland and Botswana have traditionally been good however distant, high-level contacts have intensified in recent times. In February, each international locations signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation within the well being sector. Botswana’s present efforts to diversify its financial system create extra alternatives for financial trade.

Botswana is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which has a free-trade settlement with the European Free Commerce Affiliation (EFTA). Its capital Gaborone is the headquarters of the Southern African Improvement Neighborhood (SADC). Relations with regional organisations such because the SADC are a focus of Switzerland’s Sub-Saharan Africa Technique for 2021–24.

Following on from a state visit by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February 2020, this upcoming visit underscores the rising significance of the African continent for Switzerland in addressing world challenges. President Masisi’s journey is a return visit after the Swiss president’s current journey to Botswana.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Federal Division of Overseas Affairs Switzerland.