King Carl Gustaf visits Botswana
Tuesday, March 22nd
The state visit to Botswana started on the 22nd, but unfortunately Queen Silvia was taken with the flu and her participation in the state visit was cancelled. The Swedish Government was represented by Gunilla Carlsson and rural minister Eskil Erlandsson, who accompanied the King for the trip.
The King was received by Botswana’s President, Ian Khama, at the airport in Gaborone.
After a private meeting between the King and President Khama, the King attended the inauguration of Mattias Klum photo exhibition “Nature by Design – exploring the pristine wilderness of Botswana and Sweden” at the Botswana Art Gallery. The Botswana Art Gallery is located on the same premises as the Botswana National Museum and they work closely together.
Then King Carl Gustaf visited the Botswana parliament, where he was received by the first female speaker of the Parliament of Botswana. Botswana’s parliament has one chamber with 57 elected members and five members appointed by the president. Although Parliament has only one chamber, it has two houses. The second house, Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, is advisory and consists of 35 traditional leaders. They may not belong to any political party.
The first day of state visit ended with a visit to the company Sanitas – The Green Diamonds of Botswana. The King was shown around the field and recieved information about the business. Sanitas was founded in the late 1960’s by Gosta Nilsson and is now run by his sons, Kent and Mattias Nilsson. The business consists of nursery, restaurant and rooms used for exhibitions, conferences and dinners. Sanitas is currently Botswana’s largest garden. The evening ended with a briefing with the business delegation and dinner.
Wednesday, March 23
The second day of the Swedish state visit to Botswana began with a visit to the Diamond Trading Centre Botswana (DTCB). DTCB is the world’s largest organization for sorting and valuing diamonds. The goal is for DCTB to contribute to a greater share of the work on the diamonds found in Botswana to be done within the country to generate revenues in Botswana. The King then went on to visit Sweden House, which today is the Trade Council in Botswana.
Later the King visited the Southern African Development Community. SADC was formed in 1980 and originally had a target to reduce the region’s dependence on contemporary South African apartheid regime. Today, the organization is promoting economic growth, democracy movements, peace, security and stability.
At the Gaborone Sun Hotel, King Carl hosted a lunch where he kindly answered questions from the press. After lunch he visited the Botswana Red Cross Society. The Red Cross in Botswana has long cooperated with the Swedish Red Cross and the King was in place along with all of the official delegation to get more information about the business. Red Cross started its operations in Botswana 1968. The King then went to visit the Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinic. The Children’s Hospital focuses on young people affected by HIV and AIDS. The clinic opened in 2003 and was the first hospital of its kind in Africa. Over 4,000 children and adolescents, and their families, cared for by the hospital’s auspices.
The final day of the trip saw King Carl Gustaf arrive at Kasane Airport in northern Botswana and he made a safari tour on the Chobe River.Filed under Swedish Royals
Tagged Botswana, Carl XVI Gustaf, Exhibition, Parliament, President Khama, Queen Silvia, Red Cross, State Visit.