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Namibia, Botswana sign historic border crossing deal

2023-02-27  Loide Jason

Namibia, Botswana sign historic border crossing deal

Namibia and Botswana on Friday signed a historic agreement that will see the citizens of both countries using only their national identity documents to cross their borders. 

Namibian President Hage Geingob and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) at the Trans-Kalahari/Mamuno common border in the east of Namibia. 

The launch is the first of its kind in southern Africa. In signing this agreement, the two countries are following the objectives of the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of the Movement of Persons Treaty, which encourages the free movement of people within the region. The treaty is yet to be fully implemented across the

Speaking at the event, Geingob  said the agreement would ease the movement of people and goods between Botswana and Namibia, which he said was great for the two countries’ bilateral relations.

“We are taking the first step towards the realisation of the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of the Movement of Persons. 

In the same vein, steps like this could form the foundation whose stepping stones may lead the path to inspire Africans to attain continental integration, thereby realising the promise to ‘Galvanise and unite in action all Africans and the Diaspora around the common vision of a peaceful,  integrated and prosperous Africa’ as espoused in our Agenda 2063,” the president said.

Geingob said the use of identity cards as travel documents is being put in place for the convenience of the citizens, and thus urged them to cooperate with the officials managing migration to ensure the success of this project. 

“It is your project, and its success depends  on how you conduct yourselves.” Namibia and Botswana share a 1 544km land border.

Concurring with Geingob, Masisi said the people of Botswana and Namibia enjoy excellent relations, underpinned by common values,  socio-economic and cultural ties as well as shared histories, dating back from time immemorial. 

“It is, therefore, highly symbolic that we are meeting at the gateway of our flagship highway – the Trans-Kalahari Corridor – which connects our countries, to mark a significant milestone in the trajectory of our relations,” he stated.

Masisi added that digitalisation played a major role in the achievement of the agreement, and thus encouraged both countries’ citizens to continue harnessing the benefits of advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to modernise their information and technology systems.

Plans are underway to transform the national identity card into an electronic identity card. 


2023-02-27  Loide Jason

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