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Canada - Botswana Relations

Diplomatic relations and official representation

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.

Bilateral relations

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).

Trade and Investment

Canadian direct investments in Botswana are classified as confidential by Statistics Canada. However, 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 $397 million in 2011. According to Statistics Canada, two-way merchandise trade reached almost $4.4 million in 2012. Through De Beers, Botswana is a minority investor together with Anglo American in the extractive industry in Canada. Total Canadian merchandise exports were about $3.5 million in 2012. Top merchandise exports to Botswana include precious stones (coins), machinery, (office machine parts and computer components), electrical machinery and pharmaceutical products (penicillin, antibiotics, and vitamins. Total Canadian merchandise imports were just over $913,000. Top merchandise imports from Botswana comprise mainly precious stones (diamonds), woven apparel (suits, track suits, ski suits, swimwear) as well electric machinery (electric capacitors) and arts and antiques (works of art and collector pieces.

Through its Head Office in Ottawa, Export Development Canada (EDC) provides support to Canadian companies planning on or currently doing business in Botswana. EDC is positioned to help Canadian companies through a range of financing and risk management services.

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.

May 2013

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