DUBAI: On 13 March,the President of Republic of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, officiated his country’s Expo 2020 Dubai National Day celebrations. The celebrations included speeches, riveting dance and musical performances that exposed attendants to the country’s culture.
Masisi was welcomed by Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai. In his speech Masisi said, “This Expo has really set the bar extremely high on how countries’ businesses and organisations should collaborate in their diversity, exchange of knowledge, as well as solutions to build a better world for all. Botswana has benefited immensely from the cultural experience, social and economic exchanges with other countries through cultural displays, music, arts, presentations, and collaborations inspired by none other than the Expo 2020 Dubai theme.”
He added, “I am confident that Botswana’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai will cement and expand the scope of our bilateral relations with the United Arab Emirates, as we continue to explore new ways of cooperation for the mutual benefit of our countries and peoples. We also recognise the accomplished investment deals that were secured during this Expo.”
For his part, Sheikh Nahayan said, “Botswana’s participation invites visitors to discover its natural resources, intellectual capital and booming industries. Its pavilion also shows how the country explores new frontiers through forging smart partnerships. The UAE is proud to share strong bilateral ties with Botswana, and we hope to expand the framework of our relations by exploring areas for further cooperation in fields of shared interest, such as agribusiness, health and education, amongst others.”
A cultural performance by the Botswana Musical Ensemble followed the National Day Ceremony Official proceedings in Al Wasl. Focusing on four themes – mining, tourism, innovation and the food of Botswana – the exhilarating celebration provided a powerful showcase through traditional dance, theatre and contemporary song.
In discussing Botswana’s plans to diversify its economy and transform it into an industrialised country, Masisi concluded, “We want to diversify our economy by getting into other sectors. So, we are looking for foreign direct investors to bring in their unique skills and talents, including technology, to harness the opportunities that present themselves in the agricultural sector and tourism. We present wonderful opportunities in the education sector too. We are young, we are stable, we have got good infrastructure coming in and out and well-educated people.”