Ambassador Van Vranken’s Statement Marking the Presentation of His Letters of Credence

As prepared for delivery.

May 24, 2023

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am honored to be here to present my letters of credence to His Excellency President Mokgweetsi Masisi. I am grateful for the kind welcome His Excellency has extended to me. It is a privilege for me to represent the United States in Botswana, a strong ally in Africa and partner throughout the world. I look forward to a productive relationship with His Excellency, the President, and his cabinet to build on our strong bilateral ties.

As the U.S. Ambassador, I will honorably safeguard the security of Americans living in or visiting Botswana. I submit that the United States will support President Masisi’s efforts to diversify Botswana’s economy and to protect the environment. This is an opportunity for both our countries to prosper. The partnership between the United States and Botswana is a consequential one built on our shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law; prosperity for all our people; good governance; and good global citizenship. Botswana is a long-standing democracy of which its people should rightfully be proud. Botswana’s success is well earned and comes from responsible leadership with a commitment to stewardship, preservation, and nurturing the precious gift of democracy for generations to come.

I hold this position as the U.S. Ambassador to Botswana in trust. Arriving in Botswana in 2023 is auspicious as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of PEPFAR – the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The United States’ health partnership has helped with Botswana to approach HIV epidemic control, a historic milestone and one that we should all celebrate. We are proud and humbled to have invested $1 billion in the health of the people of Botswana through PEPFAR over the past 20 years. I am committed to continuing our collaboration to improving the health and lives of Batswana. Together, we will work to safeguard the environment and expand economic opportunities for Batswana and Americans for years to come.

I look forward to traveling throughout Botswana and meeting Batswana from all walks of life. I am excited to explore the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stunning Makgadikgadi Pans, and all of Botswana’s magnificent natural beauty. I am eager to learn from all of you, and to promote a greater understanding of the United States. I am particularly interested in hearing from the young people of Botswana, to learn their hopes and dreams for Botswana and our relationship. The United States and Botswana are partners. Our interests in promoting freedom, prosperity, and security are aligned.
Botswana is an inspiration to countries around the world. Allow me to say again what a privilege it is to represent the United States in Botswana. It is my honor to be part of this enduring partnership.