Botswana firms urged to utilise Walvis Bay Corridor


FRANCISTOWN: Namibia, through the Walvis Bay Corridors, offers a reliable route for Botswana traders to transport their goods from abroad most notably from Europe and America.

“We have quicker access routes to Europe and America,” Johny Smith, the chief executive officer of Walvis Bay Corridor Group, said. “Botswana firms should develop alternative routes and establish more trading partners. Nambia is available.”

Smith said at a Trans-Kalahari Information session that the Walvis Bay Corridor Group is a Namibian public private partnership established to promote the utilisation of the Walvis Bay corridors, which is a network of transport corridors made up of the Port of Walvis Bay, the Trans Kalahari Corridor, Trans Caprivi Corridor, the Trans-Cunene Corridor and the Trans-Oranje Corridor. The session was attended by stakeholders from Namibia and Botswana.

He said it was quicker for goods to arrive from America and Europe to Namibia.

“Usually goods ordered from those destinations will take about 20 days to arrive at the port of Walvis Bay and then take two days to reach Gaborone which is quicker,” he said.

He added that the Walvis Bay Corridor is strategically placed, as it is the gateway to the west coast of Africa.

Smith also said Botswana’s freight companies could also derive benefits from establishing ties with Namibian transport and logistics sector. “Freight firms can set up their businesses in Botswana and Namibia to support trade activities within the Walvis Bay Corridors,” he said. Most notably Smith said Botswana firms could benefit by facilitating transportation of goods that pass from Namibia through Botswana to Zimbabwe through the Trans-Kalahari Corridor.

The Trans-Kalahari Corridor was jointly developed by the Botswana and Namibian governments in the 1990s. The corridor comprises tarred road linking the Port of Walvis Bay with Botswana and the industrial powerhouse of Gauteng, South Africa.

The corridor stretches more than 1,900 kms from Walvis Bay-Windhoek-Gaborone-Johannesburg/Pretoria.

The Acting Business Development Manager at Namport, Phillemon Mpupa also trumpeted Smith’s sentiments. Namport is the port authority and operator in Namibia. He said Botswana businesses would benefit from using Walvis Bay Corridors.

“Even though Namibia is on the west coast of Africa it is not limited from serving Botswana from markets in the Far East. Sailing dates are more compared to ports situated on the east coast but Namibia provides faster transit times on the landside,” he said.

He added that fast custom clearance and border crossing process as well as good quality roads make Nambia the destination of choice for transporting goods to Botswana.

At the seminar, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Neil Fitt also urged Botswana firms to exploit the Walvis Bay Corridors.

The Mayor of Francistown, Sylvia Muzila said if well exploited the Walvis Bay Corridors could offer economic growth opportunities to the city and create more jobs.

Namibia is positioning itself to become a logistics and distribution hub for Southern Africa.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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