Works and Transport Minister John Mutorwa has said the erection of the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat offices in Windhoek aims to facilitate trade and propel the development agendas of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
Mutorwa stated that the transport corridor is extremely significant for the growth of the region, particularly when it comes to the movement and goods and people.
The Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) is a tripartite transboundary corridor management institution established with a political and economic vision to pursue or contribute towards deeper regional integration programmes of SADC, SACU and indeed NEPAD.
"In 2007, a hosting agreement was signed to give practical meaning to the establishment of a secretariat office here in Windhoek," Mutorwa highlighted on Friday at the inauguration of the new offices.
On 3 November 2003, the transport ministers of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa signed an agreement at the coastal town of Walvis Bay for the development and management of TKC.
In the preamble of the agreement, the three nations committed themselves to the ideals, objectives and principles which include the common vision of new partnerships for Africa's development to eradicate poverty and place those countries individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development.
South Africa's transport minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga said it is the collective interest and that of the region and the continent that this collaboration succeeds in providing invaluable lessons to address similar challenges in the region and elsewhere on the continent.
"Transport is the heartbeat of social development and economic growth. It enables access to infrastructure and amenities for our people and without efficient transport, our respective economies would stagnate," she said.
Chikunga added that this is a partnership that must be built on as a stepping stone to giving practical expression to the African Continental Free Trade Area.
She said: "The transport sector, particularly the TKC, must lead the charge in dismantling the bottlenecks to free movement of goods and people between our respective countries and the continent."
Botswana's transport minister and chairperson of the TKC, Eric Molale, said he hopes infrastructure development of this nature will not be an opportunity for illegal trade and other unwarranted activities on the continent.
"We have to make sure that the road is safe to use. We have a scourge of human trafficking; we don't want this road to be associated with that. Another is a scourge of gender-based violence and we don't want the corridor to be associated with that scourge," Molale stressed.
The TKC is a road network spanning approximately 1900 kilometres across the territories of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It starts in the Gauteng Province in South Africa and continues through Rustenburg and Zeerust in the North-West Province, through Lobatse and Kanye in Botswana, the Mamuno and Trans Kalahari Border Posts, through Gobabis, Windhoek and Okahandja right through to the Port of Walvis Bay. - firstname.lastname@example.org