President Ian Khama when welcoming his counterpart said that he was delighted that both countries had worked together in areas of security, defence and trade. He said that some strides have been made in combating cross boarder crime and ensuring the safety of the citizens of the two countries.
Speaking during the Bi-National Commission between Botswana and South Africa, Khama said that a lot has happened since they signed the BNC in 2013 and gave example of the signing of the Middlepits Cross Border Water Project and the joint construction of bridges at Plaatjan and Ramotswa border.
President Khama thanked Zuma for helping to restore peace and order in Lesotho in which SA’ Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa facilitated in brokering peace and averting military coup.
He also extended his condolences to the South African families who lost loved ones in Nigeria's building collapse. In September this year, 116 people among them 84 South Africans, were killed when a multi-storey guest house attached to the Synagogue Church of all Nations collapsed in Lagos.
The two presidents agreed to meet again in Pretoria in a date to be announced to monitor the progress made in the 34 agreements they have signed.
Meanwhile, South African President, Zuma who was in Botswana on Thursday, has called on the two governments to work closely and develop the tourism sector. Zuma said that tourism has the potential to boost the economy of the two countries and create employment opportunities for its citizens.
“We need to join hands to improve tourism between the two countries, this sector has the potential to develop the lives of our people,” said Zuma. The South African President noted that most of South African companies are involved in tourism sector in Botswana.
“These companies are in no small measure contributing to the economic diversification of the economy (of Botswana),” he said.
Zuma said that since their 2013 Pretoria meeting, they have been some significant progress and their bilateral agreement. He said that the two countries should focus on key economic projects that can change the livelihoods of citizens in both two countries.
Zuma acknowledged the excellent relations that exist between the people of the two countries and thanked Botswana for her support during the dark days of apartheid, adding that the country was under pressure from the apartheid government but managed to help their fellow brothers who were fleeing their country.
He said their relations with Botswana are founded on deep historical, cultural linguistic and family ties. Most South Africans have their roots in Botswana and some even have their paramount chiefs based in Botswana especially Barolong and Bakgatla.