Prime Minister Philip Davis’s Remarks at the Closing Press Conference of the Official Visit to Botswana

Your Excellency President Masisi, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Members of the Press: 

It has been a profound honour and privilege to spend time in your beautiful country. On behalf of the people of The Bahamas, I extend our warmest thanks for your gracious hospitality and for the time together, which has been meaningful and productive, as we have considered shared challenges and opportunities. 

Botswana’s remarkable journey since Independence is an inspiration to nations around the world.

And although our nations are separated by a vast ocean, there is much that we share:

We know that nations which are small in size can be immense in spirit and voice.

Our people have navigated storms with strength, grace, and resilience, with our heritage and our pride as our compass.

We are determined to preserve our natural environment and our culture for generations to come, and to make sure an ever-greater number of our citizens can thrive and prosper.

And we are determined to stand up for our countries when international powers protect their own industries while discriminating against nations like ours.

Increasingly, standing up for our own national interests requires building alliances and partnerships, to work together for more just outcomes, and to unlock new avenues for opportunity.

One-quarter century ago, our two nations decided to establish diplomatic ties, so that when we made the 7,699-mile journey, we were following in the footsteps of a previous Bahamian Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, who traveled here in 1999.  He and I are not members of the same political party, but we share a great respect for your country and we share a belief that leaders and nations can learn from each other. 

My brother Masisi during our enriching discussions, the theme of eco-tourism resonated deeply, especially when considering the majestic Okavango Delta. This natural wonder, a true testament to the beauty and serenity of Botswana, exemplified our shared commitment to preserving such irreplaceable sanctuaries. Witnessing the tranquil harmony of the Delta underscored for me the profound responsibility we share in protecting these precious ecosystems. It’s a reminder that the essence of eco-tourism isn’t just about appreciating nature’s beauty but about preserving it for those who follow.

I must extend my sincerest regrets from the official leader of the opposition in my country, who could not join us. I know he would have shared my appreciation for all that we have learned and experienced.

Indeed, I have had many occasions over the last few days to recall cherished advice from my mother—she used to say, “The best friend is one you can learn from.” 

This wisdom has resonated deeply with me as I reflect on the flourishing relationship between The Bahamas and Botswana, across sectors including education and trade. 

Our collaborative endeavors, including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Botswana University of Agriculture (BUAN) and The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI), will support new opportunities for innovation and leadership for young people in both of our nations.

Ongoing dialogues to deepen bilateral cooperation further illustrate our commitment to mutual empowerment. By facilitating Botswana’s access to international markets through Grand Bahama’s Port and welcoming Bahamian students to Botswana with scholarships, we’re laying the groundwork for further progress.

Our shared concerns for global peace, security, and prosperity have led to deep, meaningful exchanges about how nations large and small can contribute to a world where justice and harmony prevail.

One of the most heartwarming experiences of my visit was meeting the children in Phikwe. Their laughter, curiosity, and boundless energy reminded me so much of the children back home in The Bahamas. This connection reinforced the belief that what we strive for today—be it in diplomacy, conservation, or cultural exchange—is ultimately for them. Their shared exuberance is a sign of hope and a reminder of the endless possibilities that await them. Our efforts today lay the groundwork for a world where they can thrive, where the beauty of places like the Okavango Delta isn’t just a story from the past but a living, breathing experience.

As I reflect on the ties that bind Africa and the Caribbean, I see more than geographical connections; I see a shared story and a common experience. In every face, I recognized a brother, a sister, a reflection of my own people. This visit has been about more than forging diplomatic ties; it’s been about opening hearts and building a family that spans oceans. And so, to my brothers and sisters in Botswana, know that in The Bahamas, you have more than a friend—you have an ally, ready to stand by your side as we navigate the future together.

My discussions with my brother, President Masisi, revealed our shared conviction that the true wealth of our nations lies in our people. Our human resources, the knowledge, and spirit of our citizens, are the keystones of our success. This belief propels us forward, urging us to foster connections, protect our shared environment, and pave the way for a brighter future for the generations to come. I invite us all to contemplate the role of CARICOM countries in the African Union, it’s with the understanding that our collaboration has the power to transform not just our destinies but the fate of our interconnected world.

As I reflect on our time in this beautiful country, I am profoundly grateful to His Excellency President Masisi and Mrs. Masisi, the government, and the people of Botswana. The warmth and friendship extended to me and to my delegation have touched us deeply, creating memories that we will cherish and carry with us as we continue our shared journey.

With every exchange, every handshake, and every moment of shared laughter, we have drawn closer.

Our spirits, dreams, and aspirations are closely intertwined, forming a bridge of solidarity and friendship that no ocean can divide.

Let us continue to nurture this bond, to dream together, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with a shared resolve. 

Thank you, Botswana, for the memories, for the lessons, and for the friendship. 

Farewell, and may the bonds of friendship between our nations and our people continue to flourish.