Since 1966 and the proclamation of the independence of Bechuanaland, France has developed a warm and cordial relationship with the Republic of Botswana, within the framework of a balanced and sustainable partnership. Nevertheless, despite the opening of our Embassy in 2001 and the development of our bilateral contacts, the last of which was a visit by a delegation of the National Assembly led by the Honourable speaker Mr Balopi, it is recently that we started a real rapprochement, as the official visit, in March 2008, HE President Fetus Mogare made to France proves it. The reinforcement of our relations is all the more desirable than France and Botswana share similar preoccupations and positions on most issues on the international agenda, namely as regards the challenges faced by developing countries and the African continent, but also on internal matters (the same attachment to the democratic and social model of the State).
It is the reason why we highly appreciated the participation (for the fourth time) of H.E. President Mogae to the Conference of Heads of State of Africa and France, held in Cannes last February. Since the first of these Summits in 1973 in Paris, the format of these meetings has been evolving, and if the first Summits were mainly organized for the French-speaking countries of the continent, since the Ouagadougou Summit in 1996, all African countries are invited. The decision to open these meetings to the whole continent reflects our will to give to our actions on the continent a global approach. The general topic of the Summit in Cannes was “Africa and international balance”, and expresses the will of France to see Africa more included in global issues and to promote its current dynamic, its successes and its future projects. France intends thus to put its all into its partnership with Africa.