28 April 2021, Amsterdam.
CFC received H.E. Mr. Samuel Otsile Outlule, Ambassador of Botswana in Brussels and other dignitaries virtually on 28 April 2021. The delegation from Botswana was consists of senior officials from the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation from Gaborone as well as embassy officials based in Brussels.
H.E. Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), accompanied by Mr. Axel Gruber, Chief Operations Officer of the CFC, and Mr. Andrey Kuleshov, Strategy and Development Advisor of the CFC received this Botswana delegation.
After exchange of usual greetings and pleasantries, Ambassador Outlule inaugurated the meeting involving participants from all three Ministries in Gaborone and high officials from the Embassy by a round of introductions.
During the meeting, Ambassador Belal briefed Ambassador Outlule and other dignitaries on the current as well as probable future initiatives of the CFC. Ambassador Belal elaborated on the elements, what he termed as green recovery in a post pandemic era, to help COVID-19 wrecked smallholder and SMEs to get to their feet on the ground at the earliest. Ambassador Belal wished to see more working relations and partnership with Botswana in the days to come. Acknowledging significant improvement of governance in Botswana, backed up by a solid democratic culture, CFC is willing not only to help transfer of technology in Botswana, it is also keen to learn from Botswanan success stories.
Among others, the following points were discussed in the meeting:
A. The CFC’s call for proposals;
B. A briefing on the effect of COVID-19 on the working of the CFC; and
C. An update on the CIIF.
Before taking leave, Ambassador Belal urged Ambassador Outlule to disseminate the information on the call for proposals widely among Ministries, Chamber of Commerce, etc., so that qualified SMEs/enterprises could submit quality projects from Botswana for consideration by the Executive Board of CFC, and thus participation from Botswana could increase in the near future.
The meeting further touched upon the Commodities Impact Investment Fund (CIIF), the establishment of which is currently being considered in a Working Group of the Governing Bodies of the CFC. The Government of Botswana expressed its support and interest and was looking forward to its establishment so that CIIF could complement the financing options currently available to the CFC. The meeting was concluded by Excellency Outlule with the assurances of remaining engaged and do the necessary follow up in the days to come.