Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Christopher Mushohwe has urged countries offered dry ports to fully optimise such ports and increase trade and economic benefits for their countries.
The minister, accompanied by his Namibian counterpart, Tjekero Tweya, visited the Namport expansion project, as well as the Zimbabwean dry port that is currently being constructed at Walvis Bay next to the main port.
The Zimbabwean dry port is due to be completed by the end of the month, while the Botswana and Zambian dry ports are already operational. Namibia offered these landlocked countries dry ports to provide access to the sea and to promote inter-regional trade of goods and commodities.
Zimbabwe currently uses mainly Mozambican and South African ports, but Mushohwe said the South African ports are rather expensive and congested, adding that once completed the Zimbabwean dry port will offer an added advantage for the country and should be fully optimised by traders.
He went on to say the dry port would broaden trade routes for Zimbabwe, while also increasing his country’s business competitiveness. “Namibia’s kindness in awarding landlocked countries access to international trade routes cannot be over-emphasised, thus we must make use of this facility,” he said.
Mushohwe also suggested Namibia and Zimbabwe should look at what is being produced and needed within the two countries, so that they rather trade such commodities between themselves instead of shipping it overseas. He also thanked Namibia for supporting Zimbabwe.
“Namibia is one of the few countries that have stood by us during the most difficult times, such as when we faced sanctions and other challenges. It is clear that our relations go back to the days of our liberation struggle and is still growing from strength to strength,” he said.