Canada established diplomatic relations with Botswana in 1966, at Botswana’s independence. Canada is accredited to Botswana from our mission in Harare, Zimbabwe, and has an Honorary Consul in Gaborone.
Botswana is accredited to Canada from its mission in Washington D.C. and, in 2005, Botswana appointed an Honorary Consul based in Ottawa.
Canada values its bilateral relations with Botswana, notably for our common approach and commitment to human rights, freedom of expression, rule of law and democracy. Canada’s good relations with Botswana are underpinned by Commonwealth ties. Growing commercial links are fuelled by increasing Canadian investment in Botswana’s mining sector and vice versa.
Since gaining independence in 1966, Botswana has experienced noteworthy growth in per capita income in the developing world and has been recognized as a development success story. It is ranked as one of Africa’s most competitive and least corrupt economies. Botswana is a founding member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and hosts its Secretariat in Gaborone.
Canada has renewed military cooperation with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) through the Canadian Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP).
In 2011, Prime Minister Harper met President Khama at CHOGM in Perth, Australia. Canada’s Governor General David Johnston met with President Khama during a State Visit to Botswana in May 2013 to underline the mutual benefits of cooperation in education and investments in resource extraction, and science and technologies between the two countries.
Canada enjoys growing commercial links with Botswana fuelled by increasing Canadian cumulative assets in Botswana's mining sector. According to Natural Resources Canada, Canadian cumulative mining assets in Botswana were nearly $283 million in 2012. Over the past five years Canadian companies have made significant investment in coal, copper/nickel, gold and diamond exploration in Botswana.Canada also has strong links to the Botswana information communication technologies sector and was instrumental in the development of the Botswana's National ICT Strategy (Maitlamo). Bilateral merchandise trade between Botswana and Canada amounted to $320 million in 2013. A manifold increase from 2012 was due to a large ($316 million) export of diamonds from Canada to Botswana in 2013.
Canada has been an active player in Botswana’s education sector for more than a decade. On average, some 250 students go to study in Canada every year. In 2012 alone, there were 287 Batswana students in Canada. The Batswana Government has indicated that building the country’s capacity through education and training continues to be a high priority.
Canada does not maintain a significant assistance program in Botswana and there are no long-term projects planned in this country. Over the past years, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives administered by the Embassy has been providing support to local organizations to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
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