WINDHOEK– The capital cities of Namibia and Botswana, Windhoek and Gaborone, have renewed a co-operation agreement to share strategies on dealing with various challenges to improve both cities under an agreement signed here Tuesday by Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua and the Mayor of Gaborone, Kagiso Thutlwe.

Specific areas of co-operation will include economic development and entrepreneurship; tourism and culture; municipal infrastructure maintenance and public safety and law enforcement.

The two cities will especially look at how each city has used various strategies to address and provide service delivery to people living in informal settlements in urban areas.

Thutlwe said the partnership signed by the two local authorities had to influence the lives of people and technocrats to do things differently.

He commended the City of Windhoek (CoW) for its effective waste management through private-public partnerships, adding that Gaborone would emulate the same approach and will also lobby for the establishment of a municipal police force.

He urged the CoW to be inclusive of people living in the informal settlements and include them on its waiting lists for land and better housing as is provided for other residents.

Thutlwe said grants should be offered to those living in the informal areas in Windhoek, not only by the CoW but by the country’s Head of State too.

Kazapua noted that one way in which Gaborone addressed the large populations in the informal areas was by successfully re-enforcing its bylaws to improve service delivery to alleviate challenges.

The partnership signed between Namibia and Botswana will be enforced for a period of five years, and can be renewed once it expires.