Nigeria and Botswana are about to sign several bilateral agreements to enhance economic and people-to-people cooperation.
Botswana’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Pule Mpothwe, revealed this in an interview on the sidelines of his country’s and Nigeria’s independence anniversary on September 30 and October 1 respectively.
Mpothwe said the countries would sign the agreements during the fifth meeting of the Nigeria-Botswana Joint Commission in Gaborone, which is expected to take place between October and November.
“We are supposed to sign agreements on agricultural cooperation, cooperation in the health sector, cooperation in defense, cooperation in judicial and legal assistance as well as cooperation in the field of youth and sports “, did he declare.
Mr. Mpothwe added: “Here are some of the framework agreements. Once both governments put pen to paper, it will be easier for individuals and businesses.
He recalled that Nigeria hosted the event in 2018, where the two countries signed agreements on cultural affairs.
Mr Mpothwe described relations between the two countries as cordial, but said Nigeria and Botswana should strengthen their trade and economic relations for their mutual benefit.
“In the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, we should definitely be doing more. Nigeria is definitely the gateway to the huge opportunities presented by the AfCFTA,” he explained.
According to the envoy, Botswana will share its experiences with Nigeria in mining and beef production.
“We see the economics in the conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria. It can be returned. Some of the cattle herders in Nigeria can learn good lessons from us to really monetize those cattle because that is where we were many years ago,” Mr Mpothwe said.
The ambassador further mentioned that the two countries would likely enter into a bilateral air services agreement.
“We will want to attract not only tourists, but investors who will build lodges, hotels, etc. We want to attract Nigerian travellers. We want them to come and bring their money to us and other African countries, not just places like Dubai,” he added.
He praised Nigeria’s contribution to Botswana’s growth, describing it as massive.