By ZBC Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has hailed the cooperation between Zimbabwe and Botswana which is expected to accelerate growth in trade volumes between the two countries.
President Mnangagwa was delivering his closing remarks at the second session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between Zimbabwe and Botswana in Maun, Botswana this Friday which was convened to review the progress made in taking the partnership to higher levels.
The second edition of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) was held to accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 as both countries seek ways to increase investment and trade.
Six MOUs and one agreement were signed as officials met to conclude negotiations on various frameworks. The memoranda of understanding are in six areas which are Media, Information and Publicity, Health matters, Sustainable and Affordable Housing, Employment and Labour, Technical and Vocational Training and Mutual Legal Assistance and Criminal Matters.
“My Government commends the growing strategic partnership between Zimbabwe and Botswana that spans the political, socio-economic as well as the military spheres. The history of our cooperation is deeply rooted in our common political history, cultural affinities and family relations. We are equally bound by a common vision towards a shared future where our people enjoy a good quality of life and a higher standard of living,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President highlighted the areas of cooperation that the two neighbours have implemented since the signing of the bi-national commission in Harare last year. The areas of cooperation included agriculture, wildlife conservation, renewable energy, defense and security, among others.
He said finalisation of agreements on Economic Cooperation, Small and Medium Enterprise development and double taxation will deepen and strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations. He also noted that there is room for improvement in the information and broadcasting sectors in the wake of cybersecurity threats.
President Mnangagwa said partnerships and investment in Information Communication Technology and innovation have potential in job creation for young people for the sister countries.
“There is however great scope to improve in other areas such as in the information and broadcasting sector in view of the contemporary threats of cybersecurity. Partnerships and investments in Information Communication Technology, as well as Science, Technology and Innovation, have a huge potential to create decent jobs for our young people whilst advancing the modernisation and industrialisation of our countries” He said.
He took the opportunity to thank Gaborone for its participation at the Zimbabwe International trade fair 2019 edition which was held in Bulawayo and accommodating Zimbabwean nationals at Dukwi Refugee Camp as well as assisting in repatriating them. He also commended the private sector which has also embraced the cooperation between Zimbabwe and its Western neighbour.
Harare and Gaborone are set to benefit mutually from the Ponta Techobinine Heavy Haul Railway Line and the Plumtree/Ramokgwebana One-Stop-Border Post which will promulgate investment and trade between the two countries and further strengthen economic development.
Zimbabwe will also benefit from the knowledge which Botswana has in the area of mining as it aims at a USD 12 Billion mining sector by 2023.
President Mnangagwa’s Government is prioritising engagement and re-engagement with the international community. The first session of the Bi-National Commission was held in Harare from February 25 to 28 last year and six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) spanning across political, social and economic sectors were signed. The MoUs included the Extradition Treaty, Diplomatic Consultations, Rules and Procedures Governing the Meetings of the Bi-National Commission, Mining, Geology and Metallurgy, Cooperation in the Energy Sector and Science and Technology.
Present at the Bi-National Commission were government ministers Dr Sibusiso Moyo, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, Dr Obadiah Moyo, Winston Chitando, Dr Sekesai Nzenza, Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Professor Mthuli Ncube and Minister Kazembe Kazembe
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has arrived back home. He was met at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by the two vice presidents General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga and Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Kembo Mohadi, several cabinet ministers and service chiefs.
By ZBC Reporter