Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi has said that there is a lot to learn from Rwanda’s social economic progress over the years.
President Mokgweetsi was speaking at a joint press conference in Gaborone, Botswana alongside President Paul Kagame at the end of the latter’s two-day state visit to the southern African country.
The President who was accompanied by First Lady Jeannette Kagame was in Botswana at the invitation of the President Mokgweetsi.
The Botswana President said that deeper cooperation between the two countries will provide an opportunity to learn from each other consequently fast tracking progress.
He said that among the aspects he said they are keen to learn from Rwanda include cohesion, innovation and problem solving, among others.
A team from Botswana visited Rwanda in a bid to model Rwanda’s growth as they were establishing the country’s national vision.
“There is a lot to learn from Rwanda. We went to Rwanda for part of the tour by the vision council, as part of putting together the national vision. We learnt from Rwanda not to be scared of your own. We want the population of Botswana to embrace that,” he said.
He said that Rwanda had managed to create a conducive environment for innovation, which he said is replicable by other countries, including his own.
It is such an ecosystem, he said, that encouraged a Botswana innovator, Fred Swaniker, to open a university in Kigali, Africa Leadership University.
Other aspects he said that his nation could learn from Rwanda include reducing bureaucracy and dealing with red tape.
On his part, Kagame said that the cooperation between the countries is an ideal learning and opportunity to facilitate growth.
Among the sites Kagame visited include the FeedMaster Botswana Facility, a cattle feedlot in the outskirts of Gaborone where they were shown best practices in upgrading the condition of cattle before it is processed into beef exports.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area coming into place, Kagame said that there will be a larger market for goods in the continent hence the need to improve practices.
“Everyone is most welcome to Rwanda, whenever each one of you comes to our country, you will be made to feel at home. You are among brothers and sisters,” he said.
“We go back home with the satisfaction that our visit has been very fruitful. When we depart we will be thinking about when we could be visiting Botswana again, staying longer and interacting more with our friends, brothers and sisters,” he added.
During the visit, the two leaders held bilateral talks and witnessed the signing of a general framework agreement covering the areas of trade, investment, health, tourism, mining, peace and security among others.