source: Republic of Botswana TAUTONA TIMES of 8/8/2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”
B4) 26/7/10: STATEMENTS BY H.H. THE VICE PRESIDENT IN CHINA
Please find below copies of speeches delivered by H.H. the Vice President during his recent China visit:
• B4a) Botswana National Day Speech by the Vice President H.H. Lt. Gen Mompati S. Merafhe, at Shanghai 2010 World Expo, China
• B4b) Toast by H.H. Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe, Vice President of the Republic of Botswana at a Welcome Banquet hosted by Touch Road International Holdings
• B4c) Acceptance Speech by H.H. the Vice President Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe, at Shanghai Normal University
B4a) BOTSWANA NATIONAL DAY SPEECH BY THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA HIS HONOUR LT. GEN MOMPATI S. MERAFHE, MP SHANGHAI 2010 WORLD EXPO, CHINA (21 JULY, 2010)
[Salutations]…Ladies and Gentlemen
1. A very good day to all of you, Ni Hao! It is indeed a great pleasure and privilege for me to be here with you today at this auspicious occasion which brings our Governments and peoples even more closely.
2. I bring the warm and fraternal greetings of the people and the government of the Republic of Botswana to the great people of China and of course, all Expo 2010 participants and attendants. I would like to convey our sincere gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China and also give due credit to the Expo 2010 organisers for the invitation and opportunity to participate and showcase our diverse cultural heritage, products and indeed business opportunities that exist in Botswana.
3. Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may be aware, Botswana attained her Independence on 30th September 1966 hence we would have preferred the 30th of September to coincide with the actual National Day Celebrations had the day not been taken up by another country. This notwithstanding, we have adopted July 21st as our Shanghai Expo 2010 National Day and we have dedicated our efforts to ensure that it would go down in the annals of history as a landmark achievement.
4. China’s unwavering support to Africa stands out as a glaring example of a great and reliable friend, without whose contribution we could not have overcome some of our political and socio-economic challenges. Our collaborative effort such as the Forum on China/ Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which further entrenches and deepens our political and economic cooperation, is indicative of China’s desire and determination to continue as a trusted friend of Africa.
5. Undoubtedly, China has become a strategic economic partner to many African countries, thus contributing to the development transformation of such economies in various spheres of human endeavour.
6. Ladies and Gentlemen, our bilateral relations, which at best can be described as excellent are underpinned by numerous agreements geared towards promoting socio-economic development through the provision of resources and technical assistance. We, therefore, welcome with appreciation the opportunities availed to us through various programmes within the framework of Botswana/China cultural, economic and technical cooperation. Botswana treasures this gesture of goodwill and generosity.
7. The theme of Expo 2010 is “Better City, Better Life” and it signifies our desire not just to improve our environment, but also to make it liveable, enjoyable and sustainable. Just driving through Shanghai during my short stay here, I have noticed the ambience of the city, which is characterized by its beautiful greenery and decorations. By and large, Shanghai is comparable to any state-of-the–art City. Therefore, the theme of the Expo could not have been more appropriate.
8. As Botswana, our own sub-theme is “A Heritage of Peace”. We chose this in recognition of the fact that peace does contribute significantly to a better life. Botswana, in particular, is inspired by the City of Shanghai to turn our own environment into something similar to what we see here, regardless of whether it is an urban or rural setting.
9. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, my country, Botswana, with a population of about two million, is a signatory to various bilateral and multilateral trade agreements such as the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol and the European Union (EU). All these and others enable goods made in Botswana to freely or easily reach the largest markets of the world. We thus invite you to come and set up in Botswana.
10. I now wish to propose a toast to the:
• Good health of His Excellency, Hu Jintao, the President of the People’s Republic of China,
• To excellent relations between our two countries and peoples,
• And to international peace and security.
I thank you. Xie Xie!
B4b) TOAST BY HIS HONOUR LIEUTENANT GENERAL MOMPATI S. MERAFHE, MP VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA ON THE OCCASION OF THE WELCOME BANQUET HOSTED BY TOUCH ROAD INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS GROUP, AT WORLD FINANCE CENTRE
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. I would like, on behalf my delegation and indeed on my own behalf, to express our deep sense of gratitude to you for the warm reception and hospitality that has been extended to us.
2. Let me also take this opportunity to also thank you personally, Mr. He Liehui, Chairman of Touch Road International, for putting together an excellent programme for this very important visit to your beautiful country. This good gesture on your part, Mr Chairman, is a clear indication of the excellent relations that subsist between our two countries and peoples.
3. It is gratifying to note that Botswana and China enjoy strong and cordial bonds of friendship, characterised by mutual respect and regular political consultations. Our ties have manifested themselves in the form of development assistance as well as private investment flows from China. This has laid a strong foundation for even deeper economic cooperation between the two countries.
4. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Botswana is home to a large number of the Chinese community, some of whom have become an integral part of our society. I must say though, that as a country, we do recognise that both trade and investment between our two countries is still minimal. This certainly does not signify the absence of viable business opportunities in both our countries, but it is a reality, which necessitates more effort on our part, to explore and utilise these opportunities to their full potential.
5. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may be aware, I am accompanied by representatives of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), whose presence in China will catalyse a robust and meaningful interaction with the business community in Shanghai on investment opportunities in Botswana.
6. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, with these few remarks, may I now kindly request you to join me in drinking a toast to:
? the personal good health of His Excellency, Hu Jintao, President of the Peoples’ Republic of China,
? the enhanced bilateral cooperation between Botswana and China, and
? to international peace and security
I thank you!
B4c) ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA HIS HONOUR LT. GEN MOMPATI S. MERAFHE, MP AT SHANGHAI NORMAL UNIVERSITY
Professor Li Jin, President of Shanghai Normal University, Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Dorcas Makgato – Malesu, Your Excellency, the Ambassador of Botswana in China, Mrs. Naomi Majinda, The Governor of the City of Shanghai, Your Worship, The Mayor of the City of Shanghai, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Some 42 years ago when I joined the public service, I aspired to excel in the course of my duty. It was a time when Botswana was regarded as one of the poorest countries in the world. This compelled our generation to strive to build our nation.
2. More often than not, over the years, I have traversed the length and breadth of Botswana in various capacities in pursuit of the goal of nation building. It has been over 42 years now, and many things, of course, have changed. Botswana is now a middle-income country, aspiring to become a high income economy within a decade. I am, therefore, proud of our achievements as a nation, and also content about my humble contribution in the journey of our nation-building.
3. Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, in a world that has increasingly become smaller; we are able to appreciate the contribution that many people continue to make in various areas of human endeavour. In this regard, the conferment of this Honorary Professorship on me is not only in recognition of my work as an individual, but also a reflection of the achievements that Botswana has attained from its humble beginnings since 1966.
4. I wish to deeply express my sincere gratitude to the University management for this noble gesture, which will go a long way in strengthening the strong bonds of friendship that subsist between Botswana and China. I hope that the honour will inspire fellow Batswana and the people of China to dedicate their efforts to serving our great nations.
5. Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, you will be pleased to know that Botswana has taken a conscious decision to diversify her economy from being highly dependent on a primary commodity – minerals. To this end, we have adopted a deliberate policy to introduce Hubs such as Education, Innovation, Health, Transport, Agriculture and Diamond to drive our economy. We have also re-oriented our education system towards the field of science and technology, in an effort to turn Botswana into a knowledge economy.
6. Distinguished guests, I take note of the achievements that your university continues to register in an effort to produce quality graduates ready for the market. What we have here, in other words, is a centre of excellence, envied by many including our own University of Botswana. I am pleased that the University of Botswana is following on your footsteps as evidenced by the recent signing of a Partnership Agreement on the establishment of a Confucius Institute in Botswana. The decision to enter into this Agreement was in recognition of China’s rapidly emerging status as an economic superpower and its economic and diplomatic importance for Africa in general and Botswana in particular. This partnership is a model of a productive international academic link and takes place within the supportive environment of the excellent bilateral relations between Botswana and China.
7. I am informed that about 240 adult students have enrolled for Chinese classes, coming from all sectors of the economy since 2008. I am also informed that the two universities are exploring possible areas of cooperation beyond the Confucius Institute, including the introduction of a Bachelor’s Degree in Chinese Studies, which is expected to commence at the University of Botswana in August 2011. I would like to assure you, Mr. President that our university will closely work with Shanghai Normal University to open up the possibilities in various areas such as research, curriculum development as well as student and staff exchange programmes.
8. As a nation, we are cognizant of the benefits of promoting strong partnerships in these areas, in line with our development priorities. I have no doubt that Botswana can count on your support in this regard.
9. As I accept this title, I wish to conclude my remarks by once again expressing my sincere gratitude for the great honour bestowed on me and my country, Botswana. I thank you!