AFRICA News ON THE RISE Politics

Botswana’s Promise to Back Kenya for UN Seat

Kenya is eyeing for a seat in the Security Council of the United Nations on a non-permanent basis in the period 2021-2022. UN’s elections will be held in September at the 74th United Nations General Assembly at the headquarters in New York, in the United States. This is a seat Kenya has held twice before, between 1973-1974 and 1997-1998. If Kenya manages to secure this position, it would be the third time doing taking the seat after quite a long time. In regards to this, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi assured Kenya of support during his three-day state visit in Kenya.

In a press briefing with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, he said, “Kenya asked that we support its candidature for the opportunity to be voted in the Security Council of the United Nations on a non-permanent basis, and we assure you that Botswana will vote for Kenya even before Kenya votes for itself. “We trust you with our issues, stability, and willingness to engage. We hope you reciprocate the favor,” he said.

The three agreements signed are;

  • The three agreements the two heads of states signed entail a bilateral air transport service, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Information Communication and Technology (ICT), and an agreement that shields traders from double taxation.
  • Other states where Kenya has recently sought support from is the Latin America and Caribbean countries. Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Macharia Kamau met with the states’ representatives to lobby for their votes in Kenya’s candidature.
  • The UN Security Council constitutes of 15 member countries.  They include five permanent members with veto powers (Russia, France, China, UK, and the US). The remaining ten are non-permanent members appointed for 2-year terms by the General Assembly.

When Kenya’s and Botswana’s bilateral ties began

Kenya’s diplomatic ties with Botswana began in 2016 during Kenya’s President’s visit to Botswana. It is then that agreements to increase trade volumes between the two countries were signed. On top of that, private sectors representatives met to streamline business partnerships between the two countries.

“It is vital that we foster business and investment exchanges for this will encourage trade and investment in public and private partnerships and joint ventures between business communities, government to government as well as people to people,” said Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The bilateral talks at the State House

Uhuru added that during the bilateral talks they also discussed on ways to hasten the African Union’s agenda specifically the Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCTA). AFCTA aims at lessening trade barriers in the African countries. Also, it seeks to integrate trade activities among African countries.

“This is a step in the right direction towards continental integration and the free movement of goods, people, and services. My administration is keen to broaden the two countries’ areas of cooperation to include minerals and mining, livestock breeding, trade, tourism promotion, agribusiness, and manufacturing” he said.

During the joint press, Uhuru Kenyatta concluded that he would wish to reiterate Kenya’s steadfast commitment to continued cooperation with Botswana. This is both at the bilateral and multilateral levels to further deepen bonds of cooperation and friendship.

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