Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said Thursday the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is generally making great strides in the consolidation of democracy despite some challenges. Presenting her ministry’s budget estimates for the 2016 financial year, Venson-Moitoi said this was demonstrated by, among other things, the holding of free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in Seychelles and Tanzania.
She said Botswana participated in the election process of these two countries by contributing election observers under the auspices of SADC.
As a country committed to advancing democratic ideals, Venson-Moitoi said Botswana continues to play a critical role in the democratization process in the region.
“This has been demonstrated by Botswana’s active participation in the SADC Double Troika meetings, which were convened in the year under review to find a lasting solution to the political and security challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Lesotho,” said Venson-Moitoi.
She said Botswana assumed the chairmanship of SADC at a time when the region was experiencing a number of developmental challenges relating to water and energy, drought and food insecurity.
“In an endeavour to address these challenges, Botswana has prioritized these issues and my ministry is spearheading efforts to jointly host seminars with the SADC Secretariat, aimed at addressing these regional challenges,” said Moitoi.
She said Botswana was also pleased to have contributed to efforts aimed at bringing a lasting solution to the political and security challenges in Mozambique. Botswana led an international military observer mission in Mozambique in 2015.