Permanent Secretary (P.S) in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Jimmy Opelo has urged traders to utilize Botswana’s Dry Port facility located in Walvis Bay, Namibia as a preferred route to the Botswana market.
Speaking in a consultative meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday this week, Opelo said there are vast opportunities and conveniences offered by the route.
The consultative meeting was convened by SeaRail Botswana, operators of the Dry Port facility in Namibia along with other stakeholders such as Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM), Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and Business Botswana to promote the Dry Port facility and the Trans Kalahari corridor to the local market.
“The subsidiary (Dry Port) is in a crusade to take its services to the people of Botswana regardless of where they are, and beyond the Botswana borders as well,” said Opelo.
SeaRail Botswana is a subsidiary of Botswana Railways located in Namibia in an area covering 36, 200 square metres with a potential to hold tonnage of 80, 000 tons.
Opelo said the BCM together with the WBCG have been on a roadshow visiting mines in Toteng, Mosetse, Ikongwe and Medie to encourage the operators of the mines to consider using the port.
The P.S said it is time to encourage the value chain and avoid a situation whereby everyone tries to do the same thing.
“So, this is the time when business people will sit back, concentrate on business and allow the managers of the port to do other businesses for you,” he said.
When the Botswana government acquired the land from its Namibian government in 2009, it was envisaged that the port will become an alternative route for both of Botswana’s imports and exports to facilitate trade efficiency.
The P.S said he was convinced the port was strategically positioned to be an alternative route for the Botswana market, stressing that the ministry is doing everything to see that the land fulfils the purpose for which it was acquired.