Honorable Eric Muthibi Molale hands over Trans-Kalahari Corridor pledge to Namibia

By Ketshepile More

BUITEPOS – The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mr Eric Molale on Tuesday handed over the Trans-Kalahari Corridor (TKC) pledge to Namibia Minister of Works and Transport also Deputy Prime Minister Mr John Mutorwa, in Buitepos, Namibia.

Mr Molale handed the TKC pledge during a ceremony attended by First Lady Ms Neo Masisi, the High Commissioner of Botswana to Namibia Mr Phemelo Rankoro, Gantsi South Member of Parliament Mr Motsamai Motsamai, Kgosi Mbao Kahiko of Charleshill and other dignitaries. Mr Molale emphasised that the three Member States of the TKC were one people, with similar languages and cultures. He said the pledge symbolised that the people of the TKC states must be a united people, and allowed to move freely across their region. This, he said included harmonising processes and protocols that facilitate the free movement, adding that investment should be made along the corridor. He said the 30 cyclists who traversed the TKC from Rustenburg last week carrying the pledge along, were a symbol of unity that should be emulated by the people of the TKC to become an ever united people of the region.

“You have written history and I am happy that I am a small part of that history,” said Mr Molale. The Minister applauded the First Lady who took a small ride across the border with the TKC member states cyclists to hand over the pledge to Namibia. After signing and receiving the TKC pledge, Mr Mutorwa said in the past Namibia was not connected to proper roads in neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Angola, and Zambia and by extension Zimbabwe. Therefore, he said after the signing off of the start of the TKC, the road linked other countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe and made economic activities easier for the region. Mr Mutorwa said the corridor needs to serve purpose, which among others was seamless movement of people and goods.

“We believe that it is the transport infrastructures such as roads, railways, airports and ports that must propel economic development, play a role in the integration process of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and also connect people for seamless movement,” said Mr Mutorwa. He said they have a common objective of providing public services and goods to all the Member States in SADC as well as the African Union and beyond through roads infrastructure. For his part, the Governor of Omaheke Region, Mr Pijoo Nganate said the pledge was the first step to eliminate traffic barriers in the region for seamless movement.

He said Africans should invest in their countries, and said cyclists were an example of such investment as they cycled through the Trans-Kalahari Corridor. Mr Nganate said people and cargo moved across borders with agreements and protocols signed by countries with the aim to achieve regional integration. Therefore, he said corridors were critical in the development of countries, adding, “…as trade exports and imports move, they enhance regional and local value chains as well as production movements.” He said all these initiatives would fail if economic development was not boosted in the corridor. “Communities living along the corridor must, therefore, benefit from the corridor,” said Mr Mutorwa.


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