Long live Botswana -Namibia cooperation

Staff Writer
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

tandem with a modern and evolving democratic state. It goes without saying the peoples in Botswana and Namibia share a common culture. We have a large concentration of Baherero who came to Botswana during the tough days of colonialism and today they make part of the Botswana nation. Similarly we have Namibians who had settled in Botswana before Namibia got independence, but were repatriated back to their country of origin after 1989. The strong ties between Batswana and Namibia can never be taken for granted and we believe such presidential visits will go a long way in cementing the relationship. During his visit, President Pohamba officially opened Bokamoso Hospital. This health institution is a truly modern hospital with state of the art facilities that could also attract international patients. It was a wise move by the hospital administrators to invite a foreign head of state to perform the official opening and give it an international feel. We appreciate President Pohamba's visit and we believe it will unlock the two countries cooperation in various spheres of life. Long live the spirit of cooperation between Botswana and Namibia! Long live!

                                                                         Today's thought
"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

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