Last updated in March 2018

Political relations

Botswana and Germany maintain good bilateral relations, based on mutual respect and consensus on international issues. Since the state visit to Botswana by Germany’s then Federal President Horst Köhler in April 2006, relations between the two countries have steadily intensified. Botswana opened an embassy in Berlin for the first time in autumn 2013.

Botswana’s President Seretse Khama Ian Khama paid an official visit to Germany in February 2012, meeting with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and then Federal President Christian Wulff. He also attended two meetings in Hamburg with entrepreneurs. President Khama visited Germany again in March 2017 to attend the international travel trade show ITB Berlin. During his trip, he held talks with Federal Chancellor Merkel and then Federal President Joachim Gauck.

Visits by a delegation from the German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the SADC States took place most recently in May 2011 and June 2015. The Federal Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa, Günter Nooke, represented Germany at the celebrations held in late September 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Botswana’s independence. Shortly before this trip, in August 2016, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Maria Böhmer, visited Botswana. The main issues discussed during her visit were bilateral cooperation in vocational training, promotion of the role of women and Botswana’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Economic relations

Bilateral trade between Germany and Botswana and German direct investment in the country are modest. According to Federal Statistical Office figures, in 2016, trade between the two countries was worth approximately 74.5 million euros, with German exports to Botswana totalling 72.3 million euros. Meat products are Botswana’s main export to Germany, while Germany’s main exports to Botswana are machinery and electrical goods, motor vehicles, food, metal goods, chemical products and wood and paper products. It should, however, be taken into consideration that Botswana gets most of its imports from South Africa, including many products made by German companies. These imports of German products from South Africa do not appear in bilateral trade statistics.

Owing to Botswana’s relatively small market and the availability of reasonably priced imports from South Africa, foreign companies have been rather cautious about investing in the country. Nevertheless, Botswana could also be of interest to German business and industry because of its domestic stability, its geographic location in the region and its sound finances. An agreement between Germany and Botswana on investment protection and promotion entered into force in August 2007.

In March 2017, Botswana was the very first southern African country to be the official partner country of the international travel trade show ITB Berlin.

Development cooperation

Due to Botswana’s impressive economic development and its classification as an upper middle-income country, bilateral financial cooperation was terminated in 1992. Bilateral technical cooperation ended in 2004.

A separate agreement of March 2004 provides for the continuation of bilateral development cooperation with a focus on vocational training. Under a co-financing arrangement, Botswana’s Government and the Botswana Chamber of Mines cover 70 percent of the overall costs for this initiative. There are currently 16 development workers engaged in bilateral development cooperation in Botswana. The programme was extended at the end of 2017 on the basis of a further German pledge of three million euros. Botswana also participates in the extensive European Union and German development cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.

Top of page