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University of Botswana

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon concluded his three-day visit in Botswana by holding a lecture on the UN Millennium Development Goals at the University of Botswana.
24.11.2009

Botswana is working successfully toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. “They are setting a positive example for other countries,” said the Crown Prince to a packed auditorium. Thanks to a stable democracy, good political decision-making and investment of the benefits of sound management of natural resources in the population, the country is close to achieving universal primary education, sustainable access to safe drinking water and universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS.

No longer a poor country

While Botswana has developed from a low-income to a middle-income economy, the Crown Prince saw during his visit that the country is still facing many challenges. Three out of 10 people have not experienced a rise in the standard of living and remain in poverty. Too many people are being infected by HIV/AIDS. The financial crisis is affecting trade and government revenues. And Botswana, too, is facing the impacts of global climate change. “For UNDP it is essential that a political agreement on climate also addresses development,” the Crown Prince said on Thursday, 12 November, when he visited the Okavango Delta. “It is the poorest people who are the most vulnerable to climate change because they do not have the safety net or buffers we have.” UNDP seeks to ensure that developing countries gain access to technology and funding to develop climate-friendly energy and industry – which is also an area of focus for Norway. Norway is one of the major contributors to UNDP.

Visit to a research centre

Before giving his lecture in the capital of Gaborone, the Crown Prince visited the city of Maun and the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre to learn about research being conducted on the connection between the fight to eradicate poverty and the conservation of biological diversity in the world’s largest inland delta. At the centre research activities go hand in hand with outreach activities to local residents. A project receiving support from UNDP involves mediation between the tourism industry and local fishermen.

UN Millennium Development Goals

Crown Prince Haakon has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) since 2003. The main focus of his activities is on the Millennium Development Goals. The Crown Prince has held lectures on the topic at a number of educational institutions in Norway and abroad, including the National University of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar during a visit to the country as Goodwill Ambassador in 2008.

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Video (In Norwegian only): Crown Prince Haakon about his visit to Botswana (size 8,20 Mb - Photo: Ida Fjeldbraaten, The Royal Court)