Regarding the cultural and human dimension of our cooperation, it is necessary to underline France’s attachment to the dialogue among cultures, which supposes the actual acknowledgment of the “equal dignity of cultures”, without which there shall be no real mutual respect nor solidarity among the people and between the States. In that light, the Convention adopted mainly on France’s instigation by UNESCO in October 2005 on the “protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions” is essential.
France is therefore fully supportive of and deeply involved in the development of arts and culture in Botswana. The Embassy, in close cooperation with the Alliance Française, has brought to Botswana a number of artists from Africa and beyond to promote exchanges. Among our recent actions, we could mention the visit to Botswana of the famous Cameroonian tenor Jacques Belobo, who performed a successful concert, and facilitated a masterclass for young Batswana singers. On the other side, the promising Motswana singer Tsenolo Segokgo has been awarded a scholarship to do an advanced training course in France during one year. This idea of cooperation is also the drive behind the support that the Embassy has provided to Thapong visual Arts Centre, for the organisation of Gabs’Art 2007, aimed at stimulating and structuring the contemporary artistic field in Africa. This project was also an opportunity to develop contacts between actors of the sector, when the Director of the French National school of Fine Arts, les Beaux-Arts, meets with the authorities of the University of Botswana (UB), so as to envisage the modalities of a partnership between the two institutions, within the framework of the creation of a Department of Visual Arts at UB.