PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is in Maun, Botswana to attend the Second Bi-National Commission of Zimbabwe and Botswana, which seeks to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries relations got a boost with the coming in of the 2nd Republic. During the Ian Kharma period, relations took a dip as the leader could not see eye to eye with the late Former President, Robert Mugabe. The new dispensation has had to reboot those relations which has seen President Mnangagwa visiting Botswana several times. The last visit was when Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi took office early this year.
The Second Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission conference has seen 6 cabinet Ministers already in Maun together with other senior government officials and business executives meeting their Botswana counterparts.
This 2nd Session will among others, provide a platform for the two countries to discuss the implementation of agreements and MoUs signed during the inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission held on 28th February 2019, in Harare, Zimbabwe, as well as explore other areas of bilateral cooperation.
The inaugural session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana BNC was held in Zimbabwe around the same time last year in Harare where the two countries agreed to deepen relations and foster cooperation in socio-economic development, politics, defence and security and industrial synergies among others.
Six agreements and MoUs were signed at the close of last year’s indaba, including cooperation in the energy sector as the two neighbouring countries sought to ramp up the development and industrialisation efforts of the two countries.
Hopes are high that the Second BNC would make follow-ups on agreements sealed last year including the signing of one-billion-pula credit facility between Zimbabwe and Botswana. The facility was meant to capacitate the local private sector.
The BNC began this Tuesday with preliminary senior officials’ meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a ministerial session today.
Zimbabwe and Botswana have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Health matters during the second session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission(BNC) this Thursday.
Giving his opening statement at the ministerial session in Maun, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo commended the two countries for their continued commitment to working together.
“I am pleased to note that 13 Agreements and Memoranda of Understandings in various fields currently exist between our two countries, with the latest signed being the MoU on Combating Corruption. Furthermore, I am informed that several Agreements and MoUs are ready for signing during this BNC Session, thereby signaling an expansion of cooperation between our sister countries,” he said.