Botswana, Zambia sign 10 instruments of cooperation

Masisi and Hichilema hailed the cordial and excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries PIC: THE PRESIDENCY
Masisi and Hichilema hailed the cordial and excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries PIC: THE PRESIDENCY

Following Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema’s working visit to Botswana in January 2024, the two neighbouring countries have strengthened their bilateral relations with the signing of10 instruments of cooperation in Livingstone, Zambia.

At the invitation of Hichilema, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi undertook a working visit to Livingstone, Zambia this week. The two Heads of State were accompanied by their respective delegations consisting of Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials. According to a joint communiqué from Botswana and Zambia, Masisi and Hichilema hailed the cordial and excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries. It added that the reciprocal working visit to Livingstone, Zambia exemplified the strong desire by the two nations to forge stronger ties as a base for mutual development for the benefit of the two countries and people. Masisi underscored Zambia’s credentials in the management of debt restructuring, as it enhances the attractiveness of the country and its neigbours.

The signed instruments of cooperation include the establishment of the Bi-National Commission (BNC), which essentially elevated the bilateral cooperation framework between the two countries from the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) and Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security (JPCDS) to a BNC. Botswana has since offered to host the inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission. The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations. Botswana and Zambia, which are connected by the 923-metre long bridge, also signed an agreement establishing the Kazungula Bridge Authority (KBA), as well as Addendum No.2 to the agreement to sponsor the construction and operation of the Kazungula Bridge. They also signed sponsors agreement for the bankable feasibility study and the construction of the railway infrastructure for the railway link from Mosetse in Botswana to Livingstone in Zambia through the Kazungula Bridge. Botswana and Zambia also signed MoUs in the field of livestock, apiculture and aquaculture, field of crop production, cooperation in science and technology, field of geo-science, mining, minerals and value chain development. In addition the countries signed MoU between the Zambia Development Agency and Botswana Investment and Trade Centre.

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