Botswana: The Vice President of Botswana, Slumber Tsogwane, on Thursday night arrived home after a one day trip to the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was afforded the opportunity to address the international gathering on behalf of Botswana.
The Vice President of Botswana, Tsogwane, revealed in an interview upon arrival that Botswana had used the occasion to network the Summit, which featured the core BRICS member states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as well as heads of the state and government and their representatives from over 40 countries.
The Vice President said that Botswana, being a country that is promoting inclusive economy, economic growth, and sustainable development domestically, was making strides in working towards attaining key objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.G.s) but continued to require funding options for development projects.
He said the BRICS, which has established the New Development Bank, would offer developing states options for funding, but African states expressed the desire that lending rates should be better than those of existing international financial institutions.
Vice President Tsogwane said the theme of the Summit, “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism,” was of interest to Botswana and sister African states that were invited to the Summit.
In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Lemogang Kwape, who accompanied the Vice President to the Summit, said Botswana “is a friend to all, enemy to none” and relates to institutions such as the BRICS in addition to other international institutions borne out of a desire for development and promotion of the values of the rule of law and multilateralism.
Dr Kwape said Botswana has sound diplomatic relationships with the founding members of the BRICS states, which he said constitute 42 percent of the global population and a third of the global economy, and Botswana thus sought to assess further beneficial trade and development linkages.
At the Summit, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the BRICS.