Transformation of African economies - The case of Botswana as a gateway to doing business in Africa
As the world enters further into the 21st Century, now faced with the unprecedented advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, EU-Africa relations continue to evolve steadily, with both sides addressing key complementary priorities, such as trade and investment, sustainable development, job creation, industrialisation, peace and security, and migration.
In order to achieve “A Stronger Europe in the World”, the European Commission identified the development of a new strategy with Africa as a key priority, by “working hand in hand with our neighbours and partners”. With the conclusion of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement on the horizon, this partnership is of increased importance.
In recent EU negotiations, a clear shift in narrative from “development” to “fostering partnerships” is apparent – as seen during the 10th African Union - European Commission meeting in Ethiopia early this year. This shift is also central to the aspirations of the African Union, such as Agenda 2063. In late 2020, Brussels will host the 6th AU-EU Summit. This meeting will take place at a time when Africa’s economic growth continues to increase, estimated to have reached 3.4% in 2019
Botswana’s sound macroeconomic policies, its legal and regulatory frameworks, and strong economic and political institutions make the country a safe and desirable investment destination. With growing infrastructure development and geographically in a central location, Botswana is seen by some as the gateway to doing business in the region, and a credible entry point to access the entire continent. President Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi, in his 2019 State of the Nation Address, welcomed “sustainable and impactful investment” as a top priority of his Government and committed to transform the country from an upper middle-income country to a high-income country, through the implementation of its blueprint Vision 2036.
EURACTIV invites you to this high level Virtual Conference to discuss the new EU Africa Strategy and what can be done to further foster investment. Questions will include:
- What role will the EU have in promoting investment for African Economies?
- How can the 6th AU-EU Summit in October help Africa achieve its transformation goals?
- Is Botswana’s Vision 2036 a good example for forging stronger partnerships with the EU?
Peggy Onkutlwile Serame, Minister of Investment Trade and Industry of Botswana
Ondrej Simek, Desk Officer for Botswana and South Africa, European External Action Service (EEAS)
Philomena Apiko, Policy Officer, African Institutions and Regional Dynamics Programme, European Centre for Development Policy Management
Gobusamang Keebine, President, Business Botswana
Keletsositse Olebile, Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre
Jennifer Baker, Journalist, EURACTIV
14:30 – 14:40 Introduction and Keynote Speech
14:40 – 15:40 Panel discussion and Q&A
10:45 – 15:45 Closing statements
The EU and African Union must use a new ‘strategic partnership’ to deepen their trade and investment relations, participants agreed during a EURACTIV event focusing on what is likely to emerge from discussions between the two blocs.