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Chinese Government donates computers for Botswana Government

China has donated 48 computers and printers worth Pula 600, 000 to Botswana.

Receiving the donation, Minister of Finance and development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe said this was a culmination of the pledge made during the visit to Botswana in 2007 by the then Chinese Assistant Minister of Commerce, Mr Huang Hai.

Mr Gaolathe said information technology is essential for a modern economy, adding that Botswana can improve on the efficiency of its operations by using the ICT equipment.

He however regretted that there is still shortage of such equipment in the public sector and therefore was highly appreciative of assistance in this area.

Mr Gaolathe noted that the two governments have a long standing cordial relationship spanning decades during which Botswana benefited immensely from assistance from China via the development of infrastructure, particularly the re-lying of railway track, the construction of houses, roads and schools.

He noted that such assistance had also benefited the country in the form of knowledge and skills transfer adding that the two countries also engaged in trade while the local private sector has benefited from investment on the part of Chinese citizens in Botswana. The minister said there are a number of projects that are currently being discussed for possible assistance from China.

Meanwhile, Mr Gaolathe said as Botswana is classified, as a middle-income country it does not qualify for most of the assistance and loans on concessional terms though its resources are not always adequate to satisfy all the needs of its citizenry.

However, he said, the Chinese government had been considerate to Botswana’s needs and continued to offer grant assistance such as this one and loans on concessional terms. Speaking at the same ceremony, Chinese embassy Charge D’affairs official, Ms Wu Jihong said the Chinese government had been enjoying a long good relationship with Botswana noting that for the past two years several delegations visited Botswana with a view to strengthen the friendship between the two countries and at the same time letters of exchange have been signed to support Botswana’s development efforts.

Ms Wu Jihong said although affected by the global economic recession, the Chinese government will continue to implement the aid programmes agreed before to aid Botswana’s development. She nevertheless said handing over the computers was also a gesture of friendship extended to the government of Botswana and its people and hoped this relationship would be long lasting.

(March 5, Daily News, partially revised by the Chinese Embassy)

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