Botswana and Namibia Sign MoU On Cooperation

| February 24, 2014

Gaborone — Namibia and Botswana have agreed to enhance cooperation in energy development and associated energy infrastructure.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU), negotiated over more than two years, was signed in the Botswana capital Gaborone on Thursday by Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali and his counterpart, Kitso Mokaila.

The agreement is aimed at providing a framework for the participants towards promoting and enhancing cooperation in energy development and associated energy infrastructure between the two countries based on the fundamental principle of equality, mutual respect of each other ‘s sovereignty and policies applicable in the respective country programmes.

“Botswana and Namibia share various commonalities, we share long borders, we share rivers and we share similar languages and cultures,” said Katali during the signing of the MoU.

“With all these commonalities, it goes without saying that we should at all political levels consult and engage each other to develop our countries and people,” he added.

Katali said Namibia and Botswana are both energy-deficient countries and rely heavily on imports from within the Southern African power pool.

“It is therefore critical that the two countries work together to develop their power generation transmission and distribution networks,” he stressed, adding that it would be possible through the MoU.

Katali was accompanied by his permanent secretary Kahijoro Kahuure .

Katali further said that while both countries depend on imports for energy “we do have the potential to develop our own resources”.

“For instance, you have coal which your are developing and we have gas which we are working on to develop,” he explained, adding that the MoU is a good tool to “impress upon this potential, work together and take equity in each other’s facilities and infrastructure to provide the much needed energy to transform our countries into net exporters of energy”.

Katali said with the Trans-Kalahari Highway and the MoU, an efficient infrastructure for production, procurement and distribution of petroleum products between the two countries would be a reality and a catalyst for real business.

“Today we are experiencing a political commitment with the view to encourage private businesses to find ways to invest in energy infrastructure that is being developd in our countries,” he said, adding that when he spoke of business it did not include national power and petroleum products.

“People have a tendency of narrowing energy just to power but power comes from various sources – gas, coal, oil, solar and these are the various opportunities that exist between us and Namibia,” said the Botswana Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila.

Mokaila said Namibia is a very strategic partner for Botswana and “it is important to have a partner that you can always depend on and we are fortunate to have Namibia as one of those”.

“This memorandum of understanding is strategic to both of us in terms of our energy deficiencies in our both economies and what is interesting is that Namibia’s consumption demand is almost the same as ours, so we are very similar,” he said.

After the signing, Katali was taken on a tour of the Phakalane 1.3 MW photovoltaic power plant and Diamond Trading Company of Botswana.

Category: General

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