Namibia, Botswana concur to elevate joint commission mechanism to a Bi-National Commission
By Clifton Movirongo.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO), Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, on Thursday highlighted several joint achievements recorded since the last joint commission meeting as Namibia strengthened its bonds with Botswana.
Nandi-Ndaitwah revealed this during a virtual joint commission meeting, after the ministers of both countries met for the last and 6th Session of the Namibia-Botswana Permanent Joint Commission of Cooperation on Thursday.
This comes as recently Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, visited Namibia in relation to deepening the bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said the session will be conducted to prepare for the Inaugural Session of the Bi-National Commission to be co-chaired by the respective Heads of State of Namibia and Botswana, adding that a review for the implementation of the decisions taken during the last Joint Commission is envisaged.
Some of the highlights of the joint achievements recorded includes efforts to secure food security along the common border, as a result, managing to eradicate the Tse-Tse fly.
“Through vaccines manufactured by the Botswana Vaccine Institute, we continue to safeguard our livestock industry and consequently the Namibian economy from the Foot-and-mouth Disease (FMD),” Nandi-Ndaitwah divulged.
She added: “We inaugurated the Namibia-Botswana Joint West Africa Cable System project, which has connected our countries to international broadband, to cheaper cost of broadband and enable our two countries to leverage on the rapid advances in digital technologies, among other benefits.”
“We inaugurated the Botswana Dry Port which has been operational since 2013, which has become a vital gateway for imports and exports not only for our two countries, but also for the wider SADC Region.”
Furthermore, Nandi-Ndaitwah showed her appreciation to Botswana for its assistance during the early days of the pandemic in facilitating cross-border trade, especially along the Trans-Kalahari Corridor.
“It is only by working together that we can overcome the COVID-19 invisible enemy. Against this background, I am happy to note that we have agreed to a joint approach to vaccine procurement, delivery, regulatory approval, vaccination of citizens in either country as well as addressing community readiness and engagement for vaccine acceptance,” she added.
“It is important that we maintain unity and momentum in our common efforts towards the reform of the United Nations system, particularly the expansion and democratisation of the Security Council, as guided by the African Common Position,” concluded Nandi-Ndaitwah.