(Last Updated on May 31, 2021 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
NAMIBIA – Zimbabwe and Namibia have launched a joint bid to promote and market the newly established dry port facility in Walvis Bay.
Roadshows to promote the dry port which belongs to Zimbabwe will be held over the next two months.
President Mnangagwa and President Hage Geingob of Namibia are supportive of the roadshows.
Last Friday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona had a working visit to Walvis Bay to understand the progress made so far in the development of infrastructure, installation and enhancement of systems at the dry port to facilitate trade, and the challenges being faced.
The knowledge would then galvanise Zimbabwe to swiftly formulate short, medium and long-term robust strategies to enable it to be not only land-linked, but sea-linked to the transatlantic markets including West Africa, the Americas, the Far East and Europe.
Minister Mhona said cooperation between Zimbabwe and Namibia “is historic” and already, there is cooperation on various social, economic and political fronts.
“Most strategically, I am told that our two sister countries are currently working on strengthening trade between them, by promoting the utility of the transport logistics of Trans-Kalahari and Lumbumbashi routes, to and from the Walvis Bay Port, and in the process promoting the use of the Zimbabwe Dry Port.
“This, I know, and as we shall fully establish, is being spearheaded under the auspices of the proposed Walvis Bay Corridor Group. All this speaks volumes of our well-stablished cooperation,” said Mr Mhona during the bilateral meeting in Walvis Bay last Friday.
The strengthening of relations with Namibia comes as Harare is on a drive to engage and re-engage all countries as it seeks to normalise relations, which could be useful in the attainment of an upper middle income society by 2030.
President Mnangagwa and President Geingob officially opened the Zimbabwe Dry Port facility on July 26, 2019.
Zimbabwe got a 50-year lease of 1,82ha for the construction of a dry port facility in Walvis Bay, which is expected to provide a strategic and cheaper gateway to the Atlantic Ocean for Zimbabwean manufacturers and international businesses.
Minister Mhona said access to the dry port opens business opportunities and markets for the two countries to trade in fish, beef, salt, granite and other minerals.
The development is in sync with the aspirations of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communication and Meteorology of 1996, which ideally seeks to remove trade barriers in the region through trade facilitation.
Erongo Region Governor Neville Andre said Namibians consider Zimbabwe as a “great friend and neighbour”, and Minister Mhona’s visit provided another opportunity to “renew and strengthen the historic bonds between our two countries, solidified during the liberation struggle”.