SINGAPORE - Senior Minister of State (Defence and Foreign Affairs) Dr Maliki Osman visited Botswana from Sept 5 to 6, and Ethiopia from Sept 6 to 10 .
His visit was part of a series of ministerial visits from Singapore to Sub-Saharan Africa aimed at signalling Singapore's growing political and economic relations with the region, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
In Botswana, Dr Maliki met Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration (and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) Eric Molale. Both sides affirmed the strong existing cooperation between Singapore and Botswana, and exchanged views on ways to further strengthen ties and enhance business and investment links between the two countries.
He also visited the Botswana Public Service College, and engaged with senior Botswana officials participating in a course co-facilitated by the Civil Service College (CSC) entitled "Managing Complexity". As part of his visit, he also met five Singaporeans based in Botswana in various sectors such as business, consulting and ICT (information and communications technology).
In Ethiopia, Dr Maliki met Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Culture and Tourism Aisha Mohammed, State Minister of Urban Development and Housing Demissie Shito, State Minister of Industry Mebrahtu Melesand, and Vice President of the Harari Regional State Hamza Mohammed.
He reaffirmed Singapore's commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Ethiopia by increasing political and economic links, as well as people-to-people and cultural ties.
Dr Maliki and the Ethiopian Ministers also exchanged views on regional developments in the Horn of Africa and on Ethiopia's developmental plans.
In addition, he delivered the opening remarks at the Singapore-Ethiopia Business Forum organised by the Singapore Business Federation, where he noted that Singapore's trade with Africa has grown at a rate of close to 12 per cent over the past five years, reaching US$8.5 billion ($11.55 billion) in 2015. Investments by Singapore companies in Africa have reached US$16.2 billion to date, and there are some 60 Singapore companies operating across the continent, he added.
Dr Maliki was accompanied by officials from the Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry ministries.