Botswana and Namibia have agreed to suspend passports and use national identity cards (IDs) as travel documents to cross the borders.
In a statement seen by Pindula News, the government of Botswana reported that the move to use IDs will serve to eliminate barriers to the free movement of people, goods and services, thereby strengthening trade between Botswana and Namibia. Reads the statement:
THE USE OF NATIONAL IDENTITY CARDS FOR CROSS-BORDER TRAVEL BETWEEN THE REPUBLICS OF NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA
Gaborone: The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs wishes to inform all media houses that the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of Namibia will sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to permit the use of National Identity Cards for the two countries as travel documents to cross the, boarders. The signing of the Agreement will take place on Friday 24 February, 2023 at MamunofTrans-Kalahari border post.
This development is the culmination of the initiative by the two Heads of State, Ho Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, and Ho Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, dating back to 2019. It is a clear demonstration of their unwavering commitment to implement a uniquely progressive aspect of the strategy of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The Agreement will thus serve to eliminate barriers to the free movement of people, goods and services, thereby strengthening trade between the two countries.
As Member States of the Southern African Development Community, (SADC) this Agreement between Botswana and Namibia will also contribute to the objectives of the SADC Treaty which calls on SADC Members States to develop policies aimed at the progressive elimination of obstacles to free movement of people, goods and services.
The use of National Identity Cards for cross-border travel will enhance the momentum for economic and regional integration and further promote safe and orderly migration. This development will become even more impactful on people’s lives as Mamuno/Trans-Kalahari border post attains a full-fledged status of a One Stop Border Post, operating on a 24-hour basis later this year. It will also foster social cohesion among the citizens of the two nations, who share profound historical, cultural and economic bonds, in addition to the values of democracy, self-determination as a people, human rights, peace, rule of law, and good governance, among others.
Members of the Media who are interested in covering this historic event should forward their names, ID numbers, and the names of their media houses to: Ms. Caroline Bogale-Jaiyeoba, clzogale-jaiyeoba©gov.bw and Ms. Rose Basia, rnyatangaPgov.bw by 1400hrs on the 21 February 2023.
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