Botswana: Geingob Heads to Botswana

7 September 2022

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob will tomorrow leave for Botswana to attend a bi-national commission (BNC) with his counterpart, Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari confirmed this to The Namibian yesterday.

According to Botswana's ministry of foreign affairs, the event takes place this week.

"The BNC will discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest under four thematic committees, namely politics and diplomacy, economic cluster, social cluster, as well as defence and security matters," their statement reads.

The commission will also discuss issues regarding various sectors of cooperation, including agriculture, water, as well as transport and logistics.

The two countries' technical committees yesterday committed to prioritising bilateral trade, industrial development and investment, as well as cross-border security cooperation.

Executive director of international relations and cooperation Penda Naanda said this at the inaugural session of the Botswana-Namibia bi-national commission yesterday.

The cooperation includes the exploration and exploitation of shared natural resources along the two countries' borders, he said.

"The decision to elevate our cooperation mechanism from a joint commission, co-chaired by ministers, to a bi-national commission, co-chaired by our respective heads of state, was a statement of intent signifying the importance we attach to cementing bilateral ties between our two countries," Naanda said.

Deliberations will be geared towards strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries, he said.

"As a case in point, I am particularly drawn to highlight the Trans-Kalahari Railway Project, and more recently our joint bid to host the African Cup of Nations finals in 2027."

Naanda said such collaborations go a long way to meaningfully benefit people in both countries.

"I have no doubt that with our combined efforts in the week ahead, we will be able to execute our mandate, translating into tangible and concrete recommendations for consideration and adoption by our ministers," he said.

Meanwhile, Gladys Mokhawa, permanent secretary of Botswana's ministry of foreign affairs, said Botswana holds the excellent relations between the neighbouring countries in high regard.

"Botswana and Namibia continue to enjoy strong bonds of friendship, solidarity and fruitful cooperation, which predate the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1990," she said.

These are borne out of their close historical, political, economic, social and cultural ties, as well as their commitment to common values of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, Mokhawa said.

The presidents found it fitting to elevate the level of bilateral frameworks between the two countries, she said."This milestone is indeed an indication of the consistent commitment shown by both countries over the years, to ensure the continued dynamism and expansion of our bilateral relations, as demonstrated by frequent engagements at the highest levels," said Mokhawa.

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