Botswana’s international partners such as the European Union (EU) have made it possible for the nation to attain middle-income status within 50 years of independence.
Speaking at the 12th Regional African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and EU (ACP-EU) meeting in Gaborone recently, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Gladys Kokorwe said this was possible because Botswana has friends in Europe and around the world who support the rights of Batswana to be free and achieve their national development goals.
“It is good that you are here 50 years later to witness and share experiences on the journey we have travelled together,” she said. Ms Kokorwe said Botswana has made progress in the economic, social and political fields since 1966. She said it could be seen in the education, health and infrastructure sectors such as housing, roads, telecommunications and the consolidation of the democratic process and institutions such as Parliament, the Judiciary, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and a free and vibrant private media.
“We are happy that with the support of our development partners, Botswana reached middle income status,” she said. The Speaker said this was not made possible by diamonds, but the national consensus on development priorities, prudent management of the economy, people centred development planning and adherence to authorised expenditure.
She, however, said Botswana should continue to be assisted to ensure that the gains of the past decades could be consolidated and to avoid the middle-income trap.