Gaborone – Talks on the long-pending one-stop border post (OSBP) between Botswana and Namibia are moving despite challenges related to environmental impact assessments and other issues.
At a virtual meeting of the Trans-Kalahari Corridor, the Executive Director of the Secretariat Mr Leslie Mpofu said negotiations were proceeding smoothly and would culminate in signing of the OSBP agreement.
This will be first OSBP in the Southern African Customs Union, and the third in the Southern African Development Community.
The SADC Parliamentary Forum Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment has been urging countries in the region to harmonise border systems to reduce time spent at borders and to minimise trade costs.
Mr Mpofu said implementation of the Botswana-Namibia OSBP would have great benefits to economies of Trans-Kalahari Corridor member states and the region as a whole.
“I believe that such endeavours are a step towards achieving the sentiments espoused in the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, the African Continental Africa Free Trade Agreement and indeed the AU’s Agenda 2063,” he said.
Botswana’s Finance and Economic Development Ministry senior official Ms Boikanyo Mathipa noted positives steps made in making the OSBP a reality, such as extension of border operating hours, establishment of systems of integration and connectivity, and harmonisaiton of documentation.
The Trans-Kalahari Corridor is a 1,850km highway that stretches from Walvis Bay in Namibia to Gauteng Province in South Africa. It provides a link from South Africa, through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the DRC.