· Over 800 Batswana graduated in past five years
· Botswana potential SADC growth factor – Dr Ranjan
India High Commissioner to Botswana Dr Rajesh Ranjan has affirmed India’s commitment towards assisting in training Batswana through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
Dr Ranjan, speaking at ITEC Day on Wednesday, said more than five decades, the ITEC programme has been a model of South-South cooperation with Botswana fully benefiting too. He said the programme has extended the linkages between Botswana and India, beyond that of historical and cultural ties closer to technical and economic cooperation that now exists. “Botswana is the country of growth and opportunities. With the young and fastest growing population, considerable natural resources and human capital at disposal, Botswana is poised to be a significant growth factor in the SADC economy,’’ said Dr Ranjan.
Furthermore, he said Botswana will continue to benefit from the ITEC programme with Indian government assisting in delivering technical assistance on technology capacity building skills. He said over the past five years, more than 650 participants from Botswana have attended and benefited from the programme that have been running since 1964, almost for 54 years now.
Dr Ranjan also averred that India is helping the African countries to bridge the digital divide. This, he said, is reflected by the launching of 2nd phase of the Pan Africa-e network projects, e-Vidhya Bharati and e-Aroghya Bharati (E-VBAB), aimed at providing five (5) years free tele –education to 400 students.
Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso hailed the government of India for increasing the numbers of enrolled Batswana on ITEC from 140 to 200. She indicated in the last five years, more than 800 Batswana have benefited from the programme, signaling firm commitment of India in helping to develop Botswana’s human capital.
“Through this initiative India is redefining the global economic landscape, giving a new thrust to the South to South cooperation, which is no longer about the cross-border investment, technology transfer, economic integration and development of our countries,” she added.
Tshireletso also expressed delight for ITEC’s support it renders to illiterate and semi illiterate rural women, as the 50 of them have recently graduated from intensive six months training in solar engineering and rain water harvesting technology systems in India’s Barefoot College.
India through the ITEC programme shares its experience or expertise in various fields with around 158 developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.
As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India’s commitment towards deepening ties with Africa was also emphasised by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously. While addressing Ugandan Parliament last year on July, PM Modi said India’s engagement with Africa will be guided by principles of helping African states to diversify their economies as well.