Masisi pushes for full Botswana-Namibia cooperation

Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi

Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, is urging Namibia to collaborate more closely with his country in the areas of energy, tourism, agriculture, water, defence and security, as well as transportation and logistics.

Masisi said this yesterday at the official opening of the ongoing Swakopmund International Trade Expo (Swaitex) at the coastal town.

He said while the bond between the two countries can be termed as “a special relationship”, significant potential for enhanced cooperation exists.

“Despite the warm relations between our two nations, we have yet to fully tap into our bilateral economic prospects,” Masisi said.

Currently, the bilateral trade between the two countries primarily revolves around the exchange of diamonds.

In 2023 Botswana exported goods worth US$60,9 million to Namibia.

Diamond exports constituted 48% of this total, with coal and electrical cables comprising 10% and 5%, respectively.

Additional notable exports from Botswana to Namibia include passenger vehicles and fibre-optic cables.

Masisi said the two countries share common strengths in areas such as animal disease control protocols, range management practices, abattoir and meat hygiene practices and wildlife conservation strategies.

“Furthermore, both nations provide distinctive tourism experiences and are renowned for their sought-after wildlife safari offerings. By engaging in joint marketing efforts, our countries can extract more value from our tourism endeavours,” Masisi said.

He said potential collaboration exists in the energy sector.

“Another potential area for collaboration exists in the energy sector, where the Botswana Oil Company has initiated discussions with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia to explore possibilities for cooperation in establishing shared fuel storage facilities at Walvis Bay,” Masisi said.

Additionally, discussions include joint efforts for fuel transportation and coordinated approaches towards sourcing oil from Angola.

“This demonstrates a promising avenue for partnership in the energy domain between our two countries,” Masisi said.

Namibia has been procuring livestock vaccines from the Botswana Vaccine Institute to manage transboundary animal diseases, like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and cattle lung disease.

“This collaboration offers us the opportunity to conduct coordinated FMD vaccination campaigns and to ensure ongoing surveillance of FMD in both countries,” he said.

He lauded the establishment of a one-stop border post at Mamuno, a dry-port facility at Walvis Bay and the recent accord enabling citizens to travel between the two nations using only national identity cards, as this would ensure seamless cooperation between the two countries.

Masisi highlighted the importance of private sector participation in the economy, saying that platforms such as Swaitex aim not only to facilitate engagement and information sharing, but also to influence policy direction by providing a platform for insightful discussions and knowledge exchange.

“It is imperative for governments to uphold their responsibility in fostering trade and investment by establishing an environment that enables for the private sector to flourish,” Masisi said.

Meanwhile, president Nangolo Mbumba, while speaking at the event, said Swaitex is a milestone in the ever-growing bilateral relations between Namibia and Botswana.

“Truly, the relations between Namibia and Botswana, characterised by kinship, good neighbourliness and mutual respect, must be treasured,” he said.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News