Hwange to twin Namibian town of Gobabis

09 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Hwange to twin Namibian town of Gobabis Mr Ndumiso Mdlalose

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Hwange Local Board (HLB) is set to ride on the fruitful and cordial bilateral agreement existing between Zimbabwe and Namibia to finalise its twinning arrangement with the Southern African country’s Municipality of Gobabis.

HLB Town Secretary Mr Ndumiso Mdlalose said the local authority was looking at expediting the process of entering into a twinning agreement with the Namibian municipality.

The twinning arrangement has been on the cards since 2019, but the advent of Covid-19 delayed its finalisation.

“We have been looking forward to signing a twinning arrangement with the Municipality of Gobabis since 2019, but we could not do so because of the Covid-19 outbreak. We are now looking forward to doing so (signing of the twinning agreement), in the forthcoming visit to Namibia,” said Mr Mdlalose.

He said the council and the community at large stand to benefit immensely from the twinning arrangement by bringing people from different countries together.

Mr Mdlalose said this will give them an opportunity to share problems, exchange views and understand different viewpoints on any issue where there is a shared interest or concern.

“Twinning will go a long way in ensuring that we share notes with the neighbouring local authority on issues of improving service delivery as well as courting investors. Gobabis is in the Omaheke region, which has a rich history in cattle farming.

“Hence, we might take a leaf from them on how to enhance livestock production in communal areas since we are located in a dry area where crop production does not yield much,” he said.

Gobabis is in the heart of the cattle farming area and is proud of its cattle farming shown by a statue of a large Brahman bull with the inscription “Cattle Country” which greets visitors to the town.

The municipality also has its own local airport.

Mr Mdlalose said Hwange stood to benefit through adoption of an environmentally friendly charcoal production process being undertaken in the neighbouring country.

“We are also saying with the uncertainties of cattle farming due to the harsh environment, succeeding in the charcoal business has become increasingly important. The Namibians have got an environmentally friendly way of producing charcoal without depleting their indigenous trees like what’s happening locally, whereby the existence of trees such as mopane is now under threat due to illegal charcoal production,” said the Town Secretary.

Wood for charcoal is harvested mainly from the acacia dominated commercial livestock farms in much of central Namibia, but especially in the Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Outjo and Gobabis districts.

Mr Mdlalose said they were encouraged into the twinning arrangement after realising that Namibia was targeting increased trade ties with Zimbabwe through strategic partnerships with local firms in foreign currency generating sectors.

“A number of people from Hwange have been crossing over to Namibia to buy and sell different goods for years. We intend to encourage our residents especially Small to Medium Scale Enterprises to fully explore business opportunities existing in the neighbouring country in light of the trading ties between the two countries,” he said.
Zimbabwe Ambassador to Namibia, Mrs Rofina Chikava and Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Niklaa Kandjii were part of a Namibia trade mission to Zimbabwe that was hosted by HLB and Hwange Rural District Council.

The trade mission comprised the Walvis Bay Corridor Group in collaboration with the Namibia Ports Authority and the Ministry of Works and Transport, as well as other key industry stakeholders from Namibia.

The main aim of the trade mission was to engage the Zimbabwean business community, industries, economic sectors such as mining, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing to explore the opportunities and viability of using the

Walvis Bay Port and the Zimbabwe Dry Port Facility for exports and imports to and from Zimbabwe.

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