Namibia, Botswana vow to jointly fight COVID-19, facilitate cross-border trade

Members of the crew of a fishing vessel offload fish at the port of Walvis Bay, Namibia, June 7, 2016. The vessel belongs to a fish processing company of the town and has 180 tons carrying capacity. A main product of the factory is Hake, making 22 000 tons of final product annually. Almost all of the fish is producing for export to Euro Union countries, Australia and the USA. (Photo by Oleksandr Rupeta/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Members of the crew of a fishing vessel offload fish at the port of Walvis Bay, Namibia, June 7, 2016. Access to the cargo port is important for landlocked Botswana, Namibia’s neighbor to the east. (Photo by Oleksandr Rupeta/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Namibia and Botswana on Friday agreed to work closely in the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as well as cross-border trade.

The pact was reached on Friday by Namibian President Hage Geingob and his Botswanan Counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi during Masisi’s one-day state visit to Namibia.

A communique signed between the two heads of state indicated that the two countries agreed on “a joint approach to vaccine procurement, delivery, regulatory approval and vaccination of citizens in either country.”

The two countries also pledged to share their best practices and collaborate on COVID-19 testing and test result validity.

Meanwhile, the two sides also agreed to continue facilitating cross-border trade including maximizing export and import benefits at the dry port at Walvis Bay in Namibia.

The two sides, the communique said, also touched upon issues such as post-pandemic economic recoveries, and agreed to “leverage the Trans-Kalahari corridor to create value chains in agriculture, tourism and trade facilitation.”