This week, the EU Ambassador to Botswana, Jan Sadek and the Ambassadors from the European Union Member States France, Germany and Finland, together with officials from the EU Delegation visited Maun. The purpose of the EU Heads of Mission Trip was for the Ambassadors to familiarise themselves with the situation in and around Maun.
To kick off their visit, the European Ambassadors took part in the World Aids Day commemoration with H E President Masisi and the First Lady. The group had the opportunity to study many areas of great importance for the economic and social development in the region, among them the following:
The potential for increased tourism in the town dubbed the “Gateway to the Okavango Delta” was discussed thoroughly with several stakeholders, including HATAB. The delegation also highlighted the importance of involving the local communities in tourism.
The production and export of beef – the delegation visited cattle posts and quarantine areas. On the back of the visit, they noted the effects of the current drought and expressed regret at the dire situation and the impact it has had on the people, cattle and wildlife.
Wildlife issues – The team discussed issues around the Human-Wildlife Conflict with the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, the Department of Wildlife and Natural Parks, the Okavango Research Institute, independent wildlife experts and conservation organisations, including some that receive support from the European Union, like Space for Giants. The Ambassadors had the opportunity to learn from the local communities about the Human-Wildlife Conflict.
Given that the European Union supports the Government of Botswana and its efforts to improve vocational training in Botswana it was fitting that the Delegation also visited the Maun Secondary School. As per HE President Masisi’s State of the Nation Address, the school is set to launch a pilot a project on tourism and hospitality.
The high-tech farm Go Fresh welcomed the Ambassadors and show-cased its hydroponic production of vegetables.
The visitors were able to interact with 20 representatives from local NGOs which operate under the umbrella of NCONGO, many of whom have received EU support.
The Ambassadors were also pleased to engage with the leadership of the region, including Kgosi Moremi, District Commissioner, Leipego and Honorable MP Saleshando.
Source: BWGovt Facebook page