State Visit to Botswana begins

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Motiv: The King on his way into Botswana Parliament. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix
On Tuesday 22 March, the State Visit to Botswana began. The Queen was forced to cancel her involvement in the State Visit as she is suffering from influenza. The Swedish Government is being represented by Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson and Minister for Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson.
The King was met by President of Botswana Ian Khama at the airport in Gaborone External link, opens in new window.. After a private meeting between The King and President Khama, The King attended the opening of Mattias Klum's photographic exhibition "Nature by Design — exploring the pristine wilderness of Botswana and Sweden" at Botswana Art Gallery External link, opens in new window..

Botswana Art Gallery shares its premises with Botswana National Museum, and the two work closely together.
The King then visited Botswana Parliament External link, opens in new window., where he was met by Speaker Dr Margaret Nasha, Botswana's first female speaker. Botswana Parliament has one chamber, with 57 elected members and five additional members who are appointed by the President. Although Botswana Parliament has only one chamber, it has two houses. The second house, Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, has an advisory role and is made up of 35 hereditary chiefs. These chiefs must not belong to any political party.
The first day of the State Visit was rounded off with a visit to the company Sanitas — the Green Diamonds of Botswana. The King was given a tour of the area and found out about the company. Sanitas was founded in the late 1960s by Gösta Nilsson, and is now run by his sons Kent and Mattias Nilsson. Its operations consist of a plant nursery, a restaurant and premises that are used for exhibitions, conferences and banqueting. Today, Sanitas is Botswana's largest garden centre.
The evening concluded with a briefing with the business delegation and dinner.