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Katima Mulilo one-stop border post gains traction

2022-02-15  Albertina Nakale

Katima Mulilo one-stop border post gains traction

With the Zambezi region seen as a “Gateway to SADC” in unlocking the economic potential of the area, Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu has joined other voices for the Katima Mulilo Border Post to be upgraded to a One-Stop Border Post (OSBP). This would facilitate the free movement of goods to avoid bottlenecks at the border, he observed. 

Last week, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said in order to facilitate trade between Namibia and Zambia, the government, through SADC programmes, recognised the Zambezi region as a gateway to the regional market through the Katima Mulilo and Ngoma border posts. 

Nandi-Ndaitwah and Sampofu made their remarks on Thursday as part of the 14th Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab Lecture Series under the theme: “Katima Mulilo, a Gateway to SADC: Unlocking the Economic Potential of Zambezi Region”. 

The Zambezi region is the gateway to SADC countries such as Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania.

“The theme of this lecture fits well with the geographical part of the country where we find ourselves. The Zambezi region is almost entirely surrounded by foreign countries,” Sampofu noted. 

In this regard, a decision between Namibia and Zambia was reached to establish and implement an OSBP at Wenela, now known as the Katima Mulilo Border Post. 

Sampofu said they envisage the extension of the railway line from Grootfontein through Rundu to Katima Mulilo to strengthen the vision of Katima Mulilo to be a transportation gateway to SADC countries. 

He said the upgrade of the transportation infrastructure as a pivotal means of opening this gateway to SADC countries would boost other avenues of economic development for Namibia. The Zambezi region has diverse natural resources, which are rich resources of development such as agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, tourism, timber production and water.

“The OSBP work is underway, and the implementation is at an advanced stage. Once established, it will enable trucks from either side of the two countries to only make one stop at the Katima Mulilo Border Post. This will reduce the clearing of goods' turnaround and congestion at the border,” Nandi-Ndaitwah stated. 

The minister commended Botswana and Zambia on the development of the Kazungula Bridge, connecting the Zambezi Region to Africa, and it will serve as a catalyst for trade facilitation to other African countries.

In the northwest, Zambezi borders the Cuando Cubango Province of Angola. In the north, it borders the Western Province of Zambia, while in the south, it borders the northwest district of Botswana. The Namibia-Zambia-Botswana tripoint lies less than 100 metres from the Zimbabwe border and as such, Namibia is sometimes erroneously thought to border Zimbabwe. 

The Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor is one route connecting Namibia to some SADC countries through Katima Mulilo. 


2022-02-15  Albertina Nakale

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