Building on the U.S.-Botswana partnership: Embracing shared values

New beginnings: Van Vranken is the US’ new ambassador to Botswana
New beginnings: Van Vranken is the US’ new ambassador to Botswana

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” – An African Proverb. While few know the precise origins of this quote, it describes the relationship between the United States and Botswana.

Our journey dates to Botswana’s independence in 1966 when Batswana welcomed American Peace Corps Volunteers into their homes and their lives. Together, Batswana and Americans, with a common belief in the promise of this brand new, proud nation, established the foundations of Botswana’s education, healthcare, and agriculture – the mainstay of the economy at that time. This collaboration was by no means accidental. Rather, it was borne of our two nations’ shared values of mutual respect, democratic principles, and prosperity for our people.

As the new Ambassador of the United States of America to Botswana, I am committed to growing this partnership and ensuring that our nations continue to thrive together. Botswana’s founding fathers, like those from the United States before them, recognized that democracy was the best form of government. They also recognized that democracy required nurturing and safeguarding if it was to stand the test of time and deliver the promises of a bright future that their citizens deserved. Our mutual respect for democracy is exemplified in Botswana by the kgotla – a forum for engaging citizens in consultative decision-making. Our countries both prioritize the well-being of our people. We instinctively extend helping hands to our neighbors and friends, while fostering self-respect and respect for the rights of others. Responsible governance, an independent judiciary, and unity that transcends national borders are the enduring hallmarks of our relationship.

Editor's Comment
Bravo, Matlala JSS for recognising employees!

Last Friday, Matlala Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Tlokweng did just that – they organised an event to honour their teachers and support staff. This gesture is truly commendable, as teachers occupy a pivotal role in the lives of our children.To be completely candid, teachers are the ones who shape our children from a very tender age, investing a significant amount of time in their growth and development. It's not uncommon to hear parents...

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