I had the opportunity at the beginning of last year to visit the country of Botswana (Ref. 1, 2, 3) at the request of the Botswana government and meet with high-level government representatives of many different ministries. I also had the opportunity to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs who accepted a report on science, technology and innovation policies which I proposed at the time. The Minister has accompanied the President on his recent visit to Japan.
During this current visit, Dr. Ponatshego H. Kedikilwe, a Minister with the Botswanan government received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun and a reception was held in his honor by the Botswana embassy. The reception was held in a small, intimate space which was permeated with a friendly and celebratory atmosphere.
During the Minister’s stay in Japan, I was able to meet for around an hour with a number of individuals who are heads of different government bureaus and had accompanied the Minister to Japan. My proposal of the previous year had made its way through the Parliament, and they reported on its passage and we also talked about what the future holds. It is also important that cooperation be offered from a variety of perspectives including outside of the auspices of the government. This is particularly true in the modern world we live in.
Japan has started to actively provide assistance and support to Africa. In particular, the cooperation (Ref. 1, 2) of JICA, which is in charge of ODA, and JST, which is in charge of science and technology policies, over the past several years is encouraging.
The exchange of human resources through multiple different levels and venues is at the core of a strong and vital foreign policy in our global world of today.