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President Karis on state visit to Botswana: “Cooperating with distant countries makes Estonia stronger.”


ESTDEV and President in Botswana
This week, President Alar Karis made a state visit to Botswana. The Estonian head of state was joined by Katrin Winter, the regional head for Africa at the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV).

Topics under discussion were security concerns in Europe and Africa, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and Estonian business diplomacy.

“Communicating with and meeting leaders from geographically distant countries is essential if we want to understand each other better and step up our cooperation,” said President Karis. “However, geographical distance does not automatically mean distance in views and attitudes.”

Botswana is one of the newest of the four priority countries in Africa for Estonian development cooperation.

“Through regional Team Europe initiatives, ESTDEV is preparing to engage with the country on building its digital capabilities and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. Bilateral interest from Estonian stakeholders towards Botswana is also increasing, as seen through ESTDEV’s call for proposals for Africa. The state visit will strengthen the relationship between the two countries. I look forward to building our development cooperation portfolio in Botswana,” said Katrin Winter, who travelled to Botswana as part of the President’s delegation.

Estonia’s focus is on supporting Botswana’s digital transition. Estonia aims to improve Botswana’s business climate, digital services, data protection and cyber security, as well as develop the country’s startup ecosystem and e-government services.

“Botswana, with its rapidly developing society and economy, has committed to digital transformation, an area in which Estonia has experience and expertise in both the private and the public sector. We can share our success and lessons learned for an inclusive digital transformation as well as support reforms in the public sector, the business environment and the education system,” said President Karis.

Photo credit: Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia