Mogae Calls On Namibia, Botswana to Strengthen Ties

| April 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

FORMER Botswana President, Festus Mogae, has urged smaller nations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to improve trade relations and cut overreliance on imports from South Africa.

He argued that the Walvis Bay Port in Namibia was largely underutilised and has potential to unlock better opportunities for landlocked countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia if expanded.

ldquoI think at this time it will be short sighted to look at another African as a foreigner or judge them from their origin. I believe that if we are serious about integration in the region we need to allow movement of people within our countries and also open up opportunities for work for various nationalities in our countries.

“I do believe it is a valid point to want to keep jobs for locals but we should not do it in a way that discourages integration. Our small countries are also heavily connected to South Africa because of its economic mighty but we need to find ways of also growing our industries,rdquo Mogae said.

Mogae, who was in the country as a guest speaker at the Namibia Business School, urged Namibia and his country to consolidate their trade engagements in a manner that would stimulate economic growth.

Namibia and Botswana are members of the SADC region and are also intertwined economically because of their affiliation to the Southern African Customs Union.

He also challenged the two countries to foster developmental projects including the recently signed Trans-Kalahari railway which he argues has potential to connect the whole Southern African region economically.

ldquoWe have signed the agreement for the creation of the one stop border post between our two countries in 2003 but we are still to see the fruition of that project, my best guess is that is still coming and we will see it being implemented. We need to see more of Namibia business people in Botswana and vice versa to cement our close bilateral relations,rdquo Mogae said.

Source : CAJ News Agency

Category: General

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