As every year, the report to Parliament on exports of armaments from France reveals a few surprises. The one in 2017 is no exception to the rule. France last year sold 304,2 million euros of weapons systems in… Botswana. A beautiful order that has allowed the countries of Southern Africa, wedged between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, to enter in the “club” of the top ten customers of the France in 2016. Botswana is only preceded by India (7,99 billion), Saudi Arabia (764,4 million), Singapore (646,6 million), Egypt (623,9 million), Canada (446,5 million), Australia (351,9 million) and the United Arab Emirates (323,9 million).
This is the missilier european MBDA that has won in 2016 the contract in the most unexpected of this size selling in Botswana, which is regularly placed in the first rank of african countries in governance and transparency, air defence systems (Mistral and VL-Mica), according to several sources. Moreover, the Parliament of Botswana has voted and adopted this command. Last year, the army of botswana has received a helicopter Super Puma sold by Spain and 14 missile launcher French. In total, deliveries of French weaponry amounted last year to € 8.5 million ($2.1 million in 2015).
Of Gripen to Botswana?
The army of botswana is also very interested in the purchase of combat aircraft Swedish Gripen (between 8 and 12) to replace its old F-5. It is currently negotiating with the manufacturer Saab this command while looking at the aircraft the russians and chinese. For its part, France has granted in 2016, fifteen export licenses to the industrialists of the French defence (compared to 5 in 2015). An amount of € 567 million. We will see if the French manufacturers have made Botswana a breakthrough sustainable… or a simple commercial.