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Geingob pushes Nam and Bots to drop passports forIDs for travel

By: Hertha Ekandjo

President Hage Geingob has called for a fast-tracking of the implementation of a resolution that allows for Batswana and Namibians travelling between the two countries using Identification documents rather than passports.

Geingob said this at the occasion of the inaugural session of the Botswana and Namibia Bi-National Commission in Gaborone, Botswana on Friday.

A symbiotic and inter-dependent relationship exists along our common borders. Therefore, I call on our Senior Officials to fast-track the implementation of the usage of Identity Documents (IDs) as travel documents between the two countries, without delay,” he said.

Moreover, he mentioned that the two countries not only shared a common border, but also a common people and heritage.

The President also said that has Namibia donated a piece of land at the port of Walvis Bay to Botswana to construct a dry port and make Botswana sea linked.

He said that this was done not only as a gesture of goodwill, but to facilitate imports and exports of goods and services.

President Masisi informed me when we met in Rwanda, that Botswana intended to increase its volumes of imports and exports through the port of Walvis Bay.

This would mean that we must jointly and speedily work together on expanding the transport infrastructure to accommodate increased trade volumes between our respective countries,” Geingob emphasized.

The President asked ministers to prioritize and include in the government’s development plans, the upgrade and expansion of infrastructure to accommodate anticipated increases in trade volumes.

Geingob further said that he was happy to note that they will be signing a bilateral agreement establishing a one-stop border post at the Mamuno-Trans-Kalahari border, which will contribute to maximizing the operational efficiency of the SADC Transport Development Corridors, thereby contributing to regional development and economic integration efforts.

According to him, as much as the two central governments were strengthening and deepening relations, it was equally important that people-to-people linkages between the local governments, local communities as well as traditional authorities arenurtured and strengthened.

We have also agreed to jointly bid to host the 36th Edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals in 2027. I thank President Masisi and the Government of Botswana for choosing Namibia as its preferred partner in this adventure, which both countries stand to benefit economically, as well as further strengthen the people-to-people bond between the two countries,” he noted.

The president further mentioned that both the countries recognized that hosting AFCON necessitated the upgrading of their sports infrastructure, which would require significant investments.

We note the efforts and progress achieved thus far, including the working visit to Windhoek by Tumiso Rakgare, minister of youth, gender, sport and culture in May to discuss the matter and to jointly lobby the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Executive Committee,” he concluded.

Hertha Ekandjo

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