Political & economic relations


The European Union first opened a Delegation office in Gaborone in 1981, at the end of the 1st Lomé Convention. Since then, operations have expanded reflecting the increasing importance of the relationship between the Union and Botswana.

The Cotonou Agreement makes a clear link between the political dimension, trade and development. In particular, it is considered that regular political dialogue is essential for the success of development cooperation.

Under Article 8 of the Agreement, the parties commit to regularly engage in a political dialogue on issues of mutual interest: respect for human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law, good governance, peace-building, conflict-prevention policies and migration. Representatives of civil society should be associated in the dialogue. Regular meetings are taking place between the EU and the Botswana Government. The EU also conducts dialogue with Human Rights Defenders in Botswana.

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for development cooperation between the EU and the ACP countries. Since the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1957, EDFs have been continuously created.

The EDF is a fund that is not part of the general Community budget, but founded by the EU Member States, covered by its own financial rules and managed by a specific committee. It generally has a life-span of at least five years and is accompanied by new financial resources, strategies and priorities to improve sustainable aid development.

Its main purpose is to promote economic and social development with a particular focus on reducing and alleviating poverty in the long term by providing beneficiary countries with technical and financial assistance.

  • First EDF: 1959-1964
  • Second EDF: 1964-1970 (Yaoundé I Convention)
  • Third EDF: 1970-1975 (Yaoundé II Convention)
  • Fourth EDF: 1975-1980 (Lomé I Convention)
  • Fifth EDF: 1980-1985 (Lomé II Convention)
  • Sixth EDF: 1985-1990 (Lomé III Convention)
  • Seventh EDF: 1990-1995 (Lomé IV Convention)
  • Eighth EDF: 1995-2000 (Lomé IV Convention and the revised Lomé IV)
  • Ninth EDF: 2000-2007 (Cotonou Agreement)
  • Tenth EDF: 2008-2013 (Revised Cotonou Agreement)

EDF Funds for Botswana are jointly managed by the European Union (principally through its Delegation in Gaborone since devolution in 2004) and the Government of Botswana (EDF National Authorising Officer in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning).

The funds earmarked for Botswana over time are presented below:

EDF 6: 30 million Euro (including transfers from EDF 4&5)
EDF 7: 85 million Euro
EDF 8: 71 million Euro
EDF 9: 65 million Euro
EDF 10: 83.5 million Euro

The focal sectors supported by the European Union up to the 8th EDF were private sector development, related technical education and training and natural resource utilisation and conservation. The focal sector for the 9th and 10th EDFs is human resource development as reflected in the Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme for the 10th EDF (CSP-NIP pdf - 762 KB [762 KB] ).

Within the Conventions and Agreements, Botswana has benefited from various trade instruments such as the Beef Protocol, FLEX and SYSMIN, and the country is also benefiting from the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Furthermore Botswana can benefit from various Facilities in force such as the Technical, Water, Energy, TradeCom and BizClim Facilities. Finally, Botswana benefits from the European Union’s Regional Programme and gets assistance from the Centre for the Development of Enterprises (CDE) based in Gaborone.

Outside the Conventions and Agreements, Botswana benefits from research assistance funds managed by the Commission’s Directorate General for Research, the Commission’s contributions to the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Commission’s assistance through thematic budget lines.

Besides, Botswana has also developed an important programme with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is one of the financial bodies of the European Union.