Corridor group promotes Walvis Bay in Zimbabwe

Namibia is engaging regional partners to promote the port of Walvis Bay as the gateway to global trade.

This follows a visit by a delegation from the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) to Zimbabwe from 22 to 26 April to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe, particularly around the shipment of lithium.

“Zimbabwe and Namibia are great partners, and Zimbabwe has a dry port at Walvis Bay. We went there to raise awareness of the shortest route for Zimbabwe to the Americas and Europe and Brazil,” WBCG chief executive Hippy Tjivikua said yesterday.

He said the group went to Zimbabwe to consider logistics involving the transport of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt.

“We are also looking at helping Zimbabwe move grain imports fertilisers and mining chemicals. This is also part of promoting interregional trade,” Tjivikua said.

He said the group anticipates transporting the goods through the Trans-Kalahari Corridor through Botswana, or the Lubumbashi-Walvis Bay Corridor through Katima Mulilo to Walvis Bay.

According to a statement issued by WBCG spokesperson Maria Paulus on Tuesday, the visit was organised in conjunction with BAK Logistics of Zimbabwe, with the support of Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Namibia, Melody Chaurura.

The delegation, which was welcomed by the Namibian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Nicklaas Kandjii, conducted a series of business-to-business meetings with existing and potential clients, including off-takers for metals and minerals, mining houses, fertiliser companies, food and beverage manufacturers and agro-packaging solutions companies.

The delegation held meetings in Harare and had a scoping mission to Gweru, Zvishavane, and Sandawana Mine (in the Mberengwa district), which has large lithium deposits.

Paulus says the aim of the mission was to foster strategic partnerships, explore import/export opportunities and reaffirm a commitment to delivering comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solutions.

She says during the visit to the Sandawana Mine, the delegation had the opportunity to tour large lithium mine, where it was able to observe the lithium production process and gain an appreciation of various lithium grades.

“This experience was crucial in comprehending the transport and logistics dynamics involved in linking these mines to the port of Walvis Bay and our corridors,” Tjivikua says.

He says the team raised awareness of the corridors and the strategic importance of the port of Walvis Bay.

Discussions centred around enhancing trade facilitation services and promoting the efficiency of using Namibia for lithium exports.

Kandjii emphasised Namibia’s keen interest in fostering bilateral business exchanges and trade partnerships, particularly highlighting the mining sector as a promising avenue for collaboration.

He also affirmed his readiness to foster investor promotion between Namibia and Zimbabwe through concerted efforts, encouraging the capitalisation of mutual economic opportunities and establishing a conducive environment for cross-border investment ventures.

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