Amb. Claurinah Tshenolo Modise (Ambassador of Botswana to Germany)

11.03.2010 - Interview Conducted by Tyler Thompson

Why do you think Berlin is a great place for a dialogue about Lesotho or about Africa in general? Why is Berlin important place to meet to talk about these issues?

I sincerely believe that Germany is a capital of culture in the world and it has become very cosmopolitan. You meet people from all over the world and I think Africans are coming more and more to Berlin. Not only Berlin, but Germany has opened itself to the outside world and I think Africa could take this approach with it to make our troubles less. Germany has been a colonising power, but a smaller one so they don’t really know about Africa.

Why is Cultural Diplomacy important to understand others? Why is the interchange so important for understanding?

First, it prevents war.  When you happen to know your neighbour well or the people living around you, when you come to understand them, you come to love them. I think cultural diplomacy, when its intended especially for the young, is important.

What is the role of the youth in Africa and Mauritius, especially in being future Cultural Diplomats?

There is a very vibrant youth and they are educated and very keen to participate in the future of their country. We must remember that they will be the leaders of tomorrow and we must walk along with them, not only teaching them, but guiding them whenever they ask for it. The youth in Africa today have their own mind, they know what they want and fortunately they do it quite well.