WALVIS BAY – Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has described Namibia’s granting of dry ports to landlocked countries as an impressive move.
Masisi, along with President Hage Geingob, toured the port of Walvis Bay yesterday morning and also visited the Botswana dry port.
The visiting head of state said that granting sea access to landlocked countries by the Namibian government speaks volumes of the vision of Africa, which is not only to increase trade among African countries but also to increase trade volumes from abroad.
Namibia offered dry port facilities to Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, among others. The allocation of these dry ports fully supports Namibia’s objective of being a regional hub in the region and the preferred port of choice. Botswana’s dry port operates on 36 200 square metres of land, outside the port of Walvis Bay.
“It is indeed an impressive move. The fact that we also accepted the officer and are utilising it speaks volumes to us. I have been most impressed by the container terminal development. However it can never be for Namibia alone, therefore we all must utilise it,” said Masisi, who was recently cleared to run as a sole candidate for the governing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in elections slated for later this year in his home country.
He added that cargo volumes between Botswana and Namibia have been growing, although Botswana utilised the Durban port more when the dry port was still under construction.
“However, we had been importing fuel through Namibia for years and but we will be exploring other opportunities to increase cargo volumes between the two countries as our dry port is fully operational,” the visiting president said.
Masisi also said that his country will continue advocating for the construction of a railway line between Namibia and Botswana.
“The possibility has been there, the opportunity exists even more now with the expansion of the container terminal. Botswana has been waiting on Namibia and the private sector, however the private sector should drive the project,” he said.
Also briefing the heads of state on the container terminal expansion project, outgoing CEO of Namport Bisey /Uirab indicated that the container terminal will be completed next month and will be inaugurated in August.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-04-25 10:09:17 | 9 months ago