Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the Fifth Session of the South Africa – Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC)
1. At the invitation of His Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, paid a Working Visit to South Africa on 22 April 2022, on the occasion of the Fifth Session of the Bi-National Commission between the two countries.
2. The Commission was Co-Chaired by His Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, and His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi.
3. The Heads of State were accompanied by delegations of Ministers and Senior Government Officials of both countries.
4. His Excellency President Masisi, expressed deepest condolences to His Excellency President Ramaphosa, the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, following the recent heavy rainfall and widespread floods in KwaZulu-Natal, which led to the loss of lives and serious destruction to property.
5. The Heads of State held substantive and fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues of common interest across the bilateral, regional, and international spectrum.
6. During the official talks, the Heads of State noted with satisfaction the strong bonds of friendship and fruitful cooperation that exist between their two countries, and expressed their commitment to continue working closely in an effort to further strengthen and broaden their cooperation agenda.
7. The Heads of State noted with appreciation the vast scope of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which includes trade and investment, energy, agriculture, tourism, youth and sport, infrastructure development, culture, mining, defence and security, immigration, environmental conservation and management, transport as well as information and communication technologies.
8. The Heads of State noted that 40 Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) have, over the years, been signed between the two countries, covering areas such as Immigration, Defence and Security, Energy, Trade, Transport, Science and Technology and Environment. They emphasised the need to fully implement all the signed Agreements and MoUs. The Heads of State reviewed the work and progress of the bilateral cooperation since the 4th BNC between the two countries, which was held in November 2017. In this regard, they agreed on an implementation plan with strict adherence to set time frames in the execution of BNC commitments and decisions.
9. The Heads of State reiterated the importance of the ongoing economic cooperation between the two countries and emphasised the need to intensify collaboration on areas that hold promise for immediate impact and benefit.
10. The Heads of State expressed concern at the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socio-economic development of the two countries, the region and the African continent as a whole. They reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together to address the devastating impact of the pandemic. They also welcomed the recent technological developments and expertise towards COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and genome sequencing for the omicron virus in the two countries.
11. His Excellency President Ramaphosa wished Botswana success in hosting the first ever Forbes Under 30 Africa Summit, from 24 to 28 April 2022. The Summit is expected to bring together 600 young entrepreneurs and game changers from all over the world to advance investment and accelerated progress towards achieving Agenda 2063 as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
12. His Excellency President Masisi expressed appreciation for South Africa´s support for Botswana´s bid to host the Secretariat of the Kimberley Process.
13. The Heads of State also exchanged views on the political and security developments in the region and reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely in the maintenance of peace and security in the region. In this regard, they commended the progress made by the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), in combating acts of terrorism and violent extremism in the northern part of the Cabo Delgado Province.
14. The Heads of State expressed sincere condolences to the Republics of Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, the Kingdom of Lesotho and the United Republic of Tanzania, who lost some of their deployed personnel under the SAMIM.
15. The Heads of State noted that the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of Angola are due to hold general elections during the course of 2022 and wished them successful and peaceful elections.
16. The Heads of State also reiterated their commitment to African unity and the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and its Action Plan.
17. The Heads of State expressed satisfaction on the alignment of positions by the two countries at the United Nations on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and reiterated the urgent need for peaceful resolution of this conflict. They underscored the need for the good offices of the UN Secretary General to play a central role in the peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
18. At the conclusion of the BNC, His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi expressed his appreciation to His Excellency Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa for the invitation and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.
19. His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi extended an invitation to his counterpart, His Excellency Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa to visit Botswana for the Sixth Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) during 2023, to be held in Botswana, on a date to be mutually agreed through diplomatic channels.
Pretoria, South Africa
22 April 2022