For the past two days Botswana has been host to Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba. It is not every day that we host such imminent personalities.
The visit by Pohamba should be seen as a bigger step in solidifying relationships between the two countries. Namibia as a neighbour is important to Botswana in many respects. It is critical that Botswana maintains good relations with its neighbours. There was a time in the past when our relationship with Namibia was not so warm. During the conflict over Sedudu/Kasakili island and more recently during the disputed presidential election in Zimbabwe when the Namibian government seemed to adopt a conciliatory attitude towards the Mugabe government while Botswana on the other hand had adopted a hard stance towards this regime and refused to recognise the Mugabe government. All these examples and many others could have led to a diplomatic stand off between the two countries, but thankfully the two administrations came to the quick realisation that occasional differing viewpoints should not necessarily result in non-cooperation, especially in areas of mutual benefit to both countries. Botswana stands to gain a lot from her relationship with Namibia. As a landlocked country Botswana could utilise Namibian ports as an alternative to the ones in South Africa. Already, Namibia has granted Botswana a dry port and this could be utilised to bring in some goods using the Namibian route. Although she became independent only two decades ago we believe Botswana could learn a lot on issues of corporate governance and a progressive constitution that is in
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
- Albert Schweitzer