Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Statement by H.E. Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama on the Celebration of the 41st Anniversary of Independence of Mauritius

source: Republic of Botswana (17/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 7 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"



B1) 12/3/09: STATEMENT BY H.E. LT. GEN. SERETSE KHAMA IAN KHAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, AT A STATE BANQUET HOSTED IN HIS HONOUR ON THE OCCASSION OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE 41st ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF MAURITIUS, PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS


The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam and Madam Veena Brizmohum [Salutations]... Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to you Honourable Prime Minister for the warm welcome extended to me and my delegation since our arrival in your beautiful country. It is indeed a special honour and privilege for me to have been invited to your beautiful island state on this happy occasion marking the 41st Anniversary of Independence and this also marks my first ever visit to Mauritius.

2. As an anniversary is an occasion for reflection - for looking back and looking ahead - I am particularly delighted to be here today to join you in these happy celebrations and to bear witness to your achievements of the past four decades.

3. It gives me great pleasure, therefore, on behalf of the Government and people of Botswana to congratulate you, Right Honourable Prime Minister, the Government and people of Mauritius for your four decades of democracy, stability, economic and social progress.

4. At forty-one years, Mauritius has transformed into a mature state with strong national institutions and democratic traditions. We look up to you to continue to lead the way in Africa in areas where you have demonstrated that our continent can achieve high standards of development and social progress.

5. Botswana and Mauritius may be separated geographically but there are many similarities between us that serve as the foundation for strong relations. These include, amongst others, our strong commitment to the values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

6. Many of my compatriots have been here or visit annually attracted by our shared values, the hospitality of Mauritians and the natural beauty of your country.

7. Botswana too has benefited from our exchanges with several of your nationals playing key roles in our development and the economy as a whole. Some of these Mauritians have made Botswana their home and have become successful entrepreneurs.

8. Right Honourable Prime Minister, Botswana has great admiration for the able manner in which Mauritius has built a prosperous economy. Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. I am convinced that we can exchange experiences and benefit from the expertise Mauritius has acquired over the years.

10. I wish to conclude by underlining the need for our countries to make greater efforts to work together and strengthen one another in the international economic and political scene. As Botswana and Mauritius are small developing states, a close working relationship between the two would go a long way to ensure growth and a stronger voice on issues of mutual concern and interest.

12. I wish to end by reaffirming my commitment and that of my Government to work with you and your Government.

13. On that note Right Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen please join me in drinking a toast to:

-The continued good health and happiness of His Excellency Sir Anerood Jugnauth, President of the Republic of Mauritius;
-Continued peace and prosperity for the people of Mauritius; and,
-Friendship, solidarity and mutually beneficial cooperation between Botswana and Mauritius.

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