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Botswana finds a home at Curtin

Media release

Curtin University has added a new dimension to its already strong international links by becoming the only Western Australian university to be home to a consulate of a foreign country.

The Consulate of the Republic of Botswana, which will be based at Curtin’s Bentley Campus, was celebrated on Tuesday night, in an event that also marked the national day of independence for the southern Africa nation.

The event was attended by more than 100 guests and was hosted by Honorary Consul Pankaj Pathak, who is also a Curtin staff member.

Curtin Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the University was delighted to have the Consulate of the Republic of Botswana located on its Bentley Campus.

“There is already a strong connection between Curtin and the Republic of Botswana, with 62 students currently at the University undertaking a range of courses including commerce, science, architecture and engineering.

“Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines has strong historical links with Botswana, a country that is very rich in diamonds and has an increasingly strong mining industry.  There is also a number of mining companies with WA origins based there.”

Monday marked the 47th year of the declaration of Botswana’s independence from Britain.

Botswana has had an unbroken run of democratic elections since gaining its independence and its Gross Domestic Product grew from less than US$6 billion in 2000 to more than US$14 billion in 2012.

“Botswana is very proud of its history of democracy and independence and the manner in which our economy has continued to grow in strength,” Honorary Consul Pathak said.

“But we are also very conscious of the fact our country still faces some significant challenges – including drought, desertification and the need to diversify the Botswana economy away from the diamond sector.

“One of the key aims of the Botswana High Commission is to cultivate cooperative foreign relations and, with Curtin’s ongoing strong focus in mining and agriculture, I can’t think of a better place for the Consulate to be located.”

The Consulate of the Republic of Botswana is located within the Curtin Business School.

Botswana opened its diplomatic mission to Australia in Canberra in February 2003 and its Consulate in WA was opened in Leederville in October 2009 before moving to Curtin’s Bentley campus in July.

Notes to editor:

Pankaj Pathak was born in Zambia, and moved with his family to Botswana in the late 1970s where they ran a framing and artwork business in the capital city of Gaborone. He moved to Perth in December 2001, attained a Master of Business in International Marketing, and in 2011 was named as a recipient of the WA Business News Top 40 Under 40 Award. He currently holds the position of Manager, Business Intelligence and Development, in the International Programs area of Curtin Business School.

Curtin University is WA’s largest and most multicultural university, with campuses in Malaysia and Singapore, and more than 8000 international students at its Australian campuses.

Media Contact:

Simon White, Media Consultant, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 1931; Mobile: 0401 103 683; Email: simon.white@curtin.edu.au
Web: http://curtin.edu.au; Twitter: @CurtinPR

Hailey Ross, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 3357; Mobile: 0478 310 708; Email: hailey.ross@curtin.edu.au

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