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Last Updated:[11-06-2010 05:46:12 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Botswana Identifies Cuba as Decisive Ally – Signs Pacts



tradenews The three-day visit by the president of Botswana to Cuba has culminated in the signing of several accords including healthcare, education, sports and agriculture. The Botswanan President Seretse Khama Ian Khama told that Cuba’s assistance to his country was enormous and decisive. During his sojourn he met the Cuban President Raul Castro and many other Cuban officials.

Botswana also signed a MoU to engage Cuban medical personnel every two years with a clause not to re-employ them after the completion of their service. Minister of Health, Dr John Seakgosing who accompanied the President said that his country was looking forward to Cuba's new offering in the treatment of diabetes through co-operation in providing medical care to its growing diabetic population.

Botswana will also be seeking the Cuban know-how in controlling vector menace through the use of biolarvicides chiefly to mitigate debilitating diseases such as malaria, filariasis and Onchocerciasis. Some studies have indicated the vector-spread diseases had seriously impacted the progress of the African countries by lowering productivity through prolonged sicknesses to their working citizens or their relatives.

On the diplomatic front, the Foreign Minister of Botswana, Phadu Skelernani termed the US embargo against Cuba as "unnecessary", and appealed for revocation of the sanctions. He was maintaining the rhetoric of his president, who said on the first day of his visit, "Sometimes, in Africa, we receive millions of dollars from rich countries. However, proportionally speaking, Cuba gives us a lot more than anybody else".

Skelernani and the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina signed agreement on co-operation and Seakgosing and his Cuban counterpart, Jose Ramon Balaguer signed pact on development of a comprehensive health care system. The trip to Cuba is the Botswanan President's second one, the last time he visited the island was in 2007 as the Vice-President of his country.

By Jose Roy




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