President Masisi to open Harare Agric show
Harare (New Ziana) – Botswana President Mogkweetsi Masisi is expected in the country on Thursday for a two-day state visit, during which he will officially open the 112th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show on Friday.
The show, which started on Monday and will end on Saturday, is running under the theme: “Unequalled Business Opportunities, Accessibility, Accountability and Abundance.”
In a statement, the Botswana government said Masisi would be in Zimbabwe from September 1 to 3.
“During the visit, the two Presidents will deliberate on issues of mutual interest and explore ways and means of further deepening the relations between the two countries,” read part of the statement.
“While in Zimbabwe, His Excellency the President will officiate at the Annual Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, which will be held on 2nd September 2022.”
President Masisi will be accompanied by the First Lady, Neo Jane Masisi, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Lemogang Kwape, Agriculture Minister Fidelis Macdonald Molao and other senior Botswana government Officials.
The Botswana leader, who shares a close friendship with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, was last in Zimbabwe in February this year for the 3rd Bi-National Commission (BNC) which was held in Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe and Botswana upgraded their relations from Joint Commission to BNC level in 2018, a move that has seen the leaders of both nations meeting annually to digest important socio-political and economic matters.
The BNC is a platform where the two countries promote and explore cooperation in a number of areas such as education, agriculture, defence and security, energy, environment, and health.
While political relations are at an all time high, a lot still needs to be done to increase trade and economic relations between the two Southern African neighbours.
As such, the two governments agreed at the Victoria Falls BNC that they would pursue deeper economic cooperation.
Five new Memoranda of Understanding, including cooperation in the field of tourism, Child Protection, Zimbabwe-Botswana Water Cooperation, agriculture development and food security, and Youth Development were signed during the last BNC.
According to trade promotion body Zimtrade, Zimbabwe’s total exports to Botswana were US$19.2 million in 2018 against that country’s total import bill of US$ 4.4 billion.
This is despite Zimbabwe’s proximity to Botswana, which makes it easy to land products in that country.
A market survey conducted by Zimtrade in Botswana in 2019 revealed a potential for local businesses to supply an array of products and services including processed foods and fresh produce, pork products, agricultural implements and inputs, building materials, and mining supplies.