- Botswana, Namibia ministers mark seamless extension of hours
- The two countries lament underutilisation of TKC
- Botswana’s access to the sea at Dry Port at Walvis Bay noted
The economic potential of the multibillion pula Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) remains untapped and unutilised by Botswana and Namibia to unlock growth of trade between the two countries.
Officials from the two governments of said this last Saturday during the launch of TKC/Mamuno border post to operate 24 hours a day as a means to optimize use of the TKC.
It was noted that the strategically-positioned TKC/Mamuno border post has potential to transform the SADC region into a logistics hub. Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame, said the purpose of operating the border post 24/7 is to facilitate a seamless flow of goods and people through the border post.
“This corridor serves as a gateway to and from international markets, therefore such initiatives like the 24 hour operation of Mamuno/Trans Kalahari border post will give it a competitive advantage,” she said. “It will also make it a corridor of choice in the Southern African Development Community region.” Serame described the operational shift as an effort by the two governments not only to enhance economic activities between the two countries but also to bring services closer to people. She said it is intended to boost tourism activities to enrich and the economic lives of the indigenous people of Botswana and Namibia while the TKC has a high potential of becoming a leading tourism destination.
For his part, the Namibian Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Dr Albert Kawana, said her country is determined to take advantage of the TKC and to integrate the Walvis Bay Port to Botswana. “As a gesture of good neighborliness, as well as good brotherhood and sisterhood, Namibia took a unique decision to grant dry port facilities to all our neighbouring countries,” he said.
“That decision is in line with the policy of the Namibian Government for Namibia to become a logistics hub in southern Africa. “In the same vein, the Port of Walvis Bay presents an opportunity for Botswana to have access to sea transportation, thus cutting down on the turnaround time for both its imports and exports. “The Trans-Kalahari/Mamuno border post operation on a 24-hours basis will serve the logistic hub concept well.”
The Trans-Kalahari Corridor is a road network spanning approximately 1 900 kilometres across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to facilitate trade. It starts in the Gauteng Province of South Africa and continues through Rustenburg and Zeerust in the North-West Province through Lobatse and Kanye in Botswana, the Mamuno borderpost and through Gobabis, Windhoek and Okahandja in Namibia and right through to the Port of Walvis Bay.