Political relations

Our confident, friendly bilateral relationship is built on shared democratic values. It was boosted by the opening of an Embassy in Gaborone in July 2000 when the headquarters of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established there. The head of the French diplomatic mission is also France’s Special Representative to the SADC.

The official visit in France on 20 and 21 March 2008 of President Mogae, and that of President Khama in June 2015, helped develop our political relationship. The Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Ms Ségolène Royal, also visited Botswana in August 2015 as part of the preparation of COP21.

Economic relations

Bilateral trade relations between France and Botswana are limited and do not appear consistent with the potential of a country with a GDP of $16 billion.
Foreign direct investment flows between France and Botswana are likewise limited. Some 20 French businesses are working in Botswana.

Given the inadequacy of its banking legislation according to OECD criteria, Botswana was added in 2012 to the French list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. A reform of banking secrecy law is being enacted in Botswana, which could help put an end to this situation.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Bilateral cultural cooperation has recently seen a significant development with Botswana’s decision to have French widely taught in state secondary schools.

The Alliance Française de Gaborone plays an important role in developing the use of French and promoting French culture. The Memorandum of Understanding for Academic, Education, French Language and Vocational Training Cooperaion on 23 June 2015 during the visit of Botswana’s President to France, enhances our cooperation with regard to teaching French.

Updated: 20/04/2017