Zimbabwe and Namibia have launched a joint bid to promote and market the new dry port of Walvis Bay.
Roadshows to promote the Zimbabwe-owned dry port will be held over the next two months.
President Mnangagwa and President Hage Geingob of Namibia are supporting the tours.
Last Friday, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Felix Mhona paid a working visit to Walvis Bay to understand the progress made so far in infrastructure development, installation and improvement of systems in the dry port to facilitate trade, and the challenges to be met.
This knowledge would then prompt Zimbabwe to rapidly formulate robust short, medium and long term strategies to enable it to be linked not only to the land, but also to the sea with transatlantic markets, particularly West Africa. , the Americas, the Far East and Europe.
Minister Mhona said cooperation between Zimbabwe and Namibia “is historic” and that cooperation already exists on various social, economic and political fronts.
“Strategically, I am told that our two brother countries are currently working to strengthen trade between them, promoting the usefulness of the transport logistics of the Trans-Kalahari and Lumbumbashi roads, to and from the port of Walvis Bay, and in the process of promoting the use of Zimbabwe’s dry port.
“This, I know, and as we will fully see, is being carried out under the auspices of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group project. All of this says a lot about our well-established cooperation,” Mhona said at the last meeting. bilateral to Walvis Bay. Friday.
The strengthening relationship with Namibia comes as Harare is on a willingness to engage and re-engage all countries as she seeks to normalize relations, which could be helpful in achieving a middle income society of the top bracket by 2030.
President Mnangagwa and President Geingob officially opened the Zimbabwe Dry Port facility on July 26, 2019.
Zimbabwe has secured a 50-year lease of 1.82 ha for the construction of a dry port facility at Walvis Bay, which is expected to provide a strategic and cheaper gateway to the Atlantic Ocean for Zimbabwean manufacturers and international companies.
Minister Mhona said access to the dry port opens trade opportunities and markets for the two countries for trade in fish, beef, salt, granite and other minerals.
The development is in line with the aspirations of the 1996 SADC Protocol on Transport, Communication and Meteorology, which ideally seeks to eliminate trade barriers in the region through trade facilitation.
Governor of the Erongo region, Neville Andre, said Namibians regard Zimbabwe as a “great friend and neighbor” and that Minister Mhona’s visit provided another opportunity to “renew and strengthen the historic ties between our two countries, solidified during the liberation struggle “.
“Today, our struggle is not for liberation but against the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Furthermore, I am quite encouraged by the fact that since the launch of the Namibia-Zimbabwe Diplomatic and Political Consultation as well as the Namibia-Zimbabwe Joint Cooperation Commission, (our relations continue) without interruption, ”said Governor André .
The latest Joint Cooperation Commission focused on critical issues affecting bilateral cooperation between the two countries in a wide range of areas, including transport, energy trade, investment and agriculture.
He added that Zimbabwe’s dry port was operational but admitted that it required efficient marketing.
“I would like to join our Head of State in welcoming the planned roadshow initiative, which will take place in June / July 2021, aimed at promoting and commercializing the potential of Zimbabwe’s dry port, through the Trans Corridor. -Kalahari to Zimbabwe.
“The Erongo region is further committed to receiving all the assistance and support necessary to ensure a successful touring exercise,” he said.
Governor Andre said that since the commissioning of the dry port in 2019, an increase in cargo volumes has been observed even during the Covid-19 lockdown.
He thanked Zimbabwe for airlifting, free of charge, Covid-19 vaccines donated by China to Namibia.
Zimbabwe and Namibia enjoy a strong relationship and the two countries organized from April 24 to 25, 2021 a virtual Joint Permanent Cooperation Commission (JPCC), which has since been elevated into a Binational Commission (BNC), to strengthen the well-established all levels. reports.
The two countries have evolved together on a number of regional integration initiatives under the SADC Vision 2050 and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030, which were endorsed by the 40th Ordinary Summit of the SADC on August 17 of last year.
SADC Vision 2050 rests on three pillars which include infrastructure development in support of regional integration, which Zimbabwe and Namibia are vigorously pursuing through initiatives such as port renovations.
Bilateral cooperation on air services between Zimbabwe and Namibia is progressing well, despite temporary hiccups of suspended flights due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Although Air Namibia has not served the Harare-Victoria Falls-Windhoek route due to certain challenges, Namibia remains committed to the agreements between the two sister countries.