- "Botswana’s youth are the new diamonds"

Botswana is well-positioned to continue on its successful path of high economic growth and responsible use of its diamond income, outgoing Ambassador of the European Union to Botswana and SADC, Jan Sadek has assured.

And to achieve this feat, Sadek told a reception in honour of Europe Day in early May that Botswana’s greatest assets are not the diamonds, and not even the cows but the Botswana people.

“Botswana’s youth are the new diamonds, and possibly also your sunshine”, he told his audience. As he prepares to take up another new post as the EU’s Ambassador to Uganda beginning September 2022, Sadek wishes nothing else but good for the country to succeed even further.

The key to this, he says, is in diversifying the economy and creating jobs. “Our friendly advice is to invest in your people, the talent, and in renewable energy”, he posits.

Sadek and his team will tomorrow (Thursday, 7 June 2022) hold a special media briefing to mark the end of his tour of duty in Botswana. His four-year term of office as EU Ambassador to Botswana and SADC which began in September 2018 comes to an end this August.

According to the Press and Information Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Botswana and SADC Bester Gabotlale, Sadek managed to build a strong network of associates at the highest level, both in government, the civil society, the private sector, and the media during his tenure as Ambassador.

He has traversed a number of places in Botswana both on official business and visiting interesting sites. Ambassador Sadek is a career diplomat, having served in the Swedish and European Foreign Services for more than 25 years, out of which 14 in Africa, in Sudan, Ethiopia, and now Botswana.

His first posts were in the Czech Republic, Russia, and Belarus. After the Tsunami in 2004, he headed the Consular Section at the MFA in Stockholm.

He has extensive experience working in Africa and has also worked on regional integration, representing Sweden vis-à-vis the African Union and IGAD, and the European Union vis-à-vis SADC.

Before coming to Botswana, he took a year of paternity leave in Sweden with his two youngest children. By training, the multi-linguist has a degree in medicine, and also served as a UN Officer during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as a member of the OSCE Mission to Sarajevo, from 1994 to1995.

Ambassador Sadek is very passionate about European and African affairs and was greatly honoured to represent the European Union in Botswana and vis-à-vis SADC together with his excellent and dedicated team at the Delegation.

Sadek says it t has been a true pleasure to represent the European Union.

“I really think we need the European voice in the world. My time here has coincided with the period when the EU has stepped up as a global player and for sure, the EU has never been more united than today when it is risking an existential threat from Russia”!