India gives USD 28 mn to Botswana for development projects

Last Updated 10 January 2010, 07:35 IST

"The grant of USD 8 million made available by India to the government of Botswana for the social sector projects in agriculture, health and education would deepen our mutual cooperation based on our complementarities and will greatly benefit the people of Botswana," Vice President Hamid Ansari said at a dinner hosted in his honour here late  Saturday night.

"We believe that our Line of Credit of USD 20 million can be utilised for development of infrastructure or industrial projects in Botswana," Ansari, who is here on a three-day visit, said.

On the occasion, Botswana Vice President Mompati S Merafhe said the two countries should strengthen their collaboration within the framework of 'South-South' cooperation.
He noted that the India-Africa summit held last year has opened an opportunity for such collaborations.
Earlier  on Saturday, the two countries signed two Memoranda of Understanding in agriculture and allied sector and exchange programmes in the field of education.
Botswana also backed India's bid for a permanent berth in an expanded UN Security Council and both sides felt that there should be reforms in the UN structure to ensure greater representation of the world.

 Touching upon the issue of cooperation, Ansari said "our recently commissioned pan-Africa E-network project is yet another milestone of South-South Cooperation."
He said this is an example of India's efforts to bring benefits of its technological development to its partners in Africa.

"It is through our mutual cooperation among the countries of the South that we will successfully address our concerns," he said.

The issue of South-South cooperation also came up during talks between Ansari and Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama and Vice President Mompati S Merafhe on Saturday.

Appreciating Botswana's initiative for economic diversification and growth plans and its efforts to promote six hubs of agriculture, transport, diamond industry, health, education and innovation, Ansari said "the government and people of India have the capacity and desire to partner with Botswana in each of these sectors."

Botswana is one of the main sources of diamond in the world and houses huge mines of the precious stone.

Ansari said that India feels an affinity with Botswana and would like to see the country take advantage of new initiatives announced at the India-Africa Forum Summit.
"India's partnership with Botswana is an important component of our larger vision of close, cooperative and multi-sectoral partnership with African countries encompassing political, security, economic, science and technology, human resource development and cultural sectors," he said.

(Published 10 January 2010, 07:14 IST)

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