Namibia and Botswana signed the bilateral agreement establishing the One-Stop Border Post at the Mamuno-Trans-Kalahari Border Post, which will contribute to maximising the operational efficiency of the SADC Transport Development Corridors.
The two countries’ presidents and ministers met in Gaborone, Botswana, on Friday for the inaugural session of the Namibia – Botswana Binational Commission.
The two countries had a joint commission mechanism, which has now been elevated to a Bi-National Commission.
Government ministers from Namibia and Botswana held meetings from Monday before the memoranda of understanding between the two countries.
Geingob said Namibia and Botswana are bound by deep-rooted cultural and historic bonds laid by their founding fathers.
“We inaugurate the Bi-National Commission with the full knowledge that our cooperation has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.
“The framework of the Agreement on General Co-operation which established the Botswana-Namibia Joint Commission of Cooperation in July 1990, laid the foundation to increase and expand the scope of our bilateral cooperation,” Geingob said.
According to Geingob, the ministers discussed four memoranda of understanding signed on Friday.
Geingob said Namibia support Botswana’s bid to host the Secretariat of the Kimberley Process and welcomes Botswana’s commitment to supporting Namibia’s candidate, Major General Anne-Marie Nainda, for the position of Delegate for Africa in the Executive Committee of Interpol at the forthcoming 90th Session of the Interpol General Assembly next month in New Delhi, India.
“As the SADC Member States, we view peace, stability and regional integration as crucial components in our countries’ economic and social development. We should therefore be pursued with vigour and determination for the benefit of all our peoples,” Geingob said.
In this regard, Geingob added, Namibia and Botswana have been engaged in efforts to address the political and security challenges in the region, notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), eSwatini, Lesotho and Mozambique.
Geingob said he counts on Botswana to support Namibia, which has now assumed the SADC Organ Troika Chairmanship.
“Despite the difficult start to the year arising from the unfortunate incident on Impalila Island, we have successfully restored our boundary demarcation. Both countries are committed to facilitating the free movement of people along our common borders and sharing natural resources,” Geingob said.
Namibia and Botswana have agreed to jointly bid to host the 36th Edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals in 2027.
In this regard, Geingob thanked Botswana President Masisi and the Government of Botswana for choosing Namibia as their preferred partner in this adventure, which both countries benefit economically and further strengthen the people-to-people bonds between the two countries.
“We both recognise that hosting AFCON necessitates upgrading our Sports infrastructure, which would require significant investments. We note that our Ministers and senior officials have started preparing the modalities for the joint bid.
“We will need to mobilise our respective private sector players to join hands with our Governmentsto ensure a successful bid. Furthermore, we also need to lobby our counterparts in southern and east Africa to rally behind our bid,” the President said.
According to Geingob, Botswana intends to increase its import and export volumes through its dry port at Walvis Bay.
This would mean, Geingob said, that both countries must work jointly and speedily on expanding the transport infrastructure to accommodate increased trade volumes.
Namibia donated a piece of land at the Port of Walvis Bay to Botswana to construct a Dry Port and make Botswana sea-linked. This was done not only as a gesture of goodwill but to facilitate imports and exports of goods and services.
“Our Ministers must prioritise and include in our development plans the upgrade and expansion of infrastructure to accommodate the anticipated increased trade volumes,” Geingob said.
The President urged senior Officials to fast-track the implementation of the usage of Identity Documents (IDs) as travel documents between the two countries without delay.
“Our two countries share not only a common border but also ordinary people and heritage. A symbiotic and interdependent relationship exists along our shared borders.
“As much as our two central Governments are strengthening and deepening relations, it is essential that people-to-people linkages between our local governments, local communities, and traditional authorities are nurtured and supported,” Geingob said.
He called on bordering regions in Namibia to enter into mutually beneficial twinning agreements with their counterparts in Botswana.