Namibia-Angola border should be opened - Nandi-Ndaitwah
06 May 2021 | International
The continued closure of the Namibia-Angola border due to measures put in place to combat Covid-19 obstructs the legal free movement of people and goods along the border and has a negative impact on the two countries' economies.
This was said by the minister of international relations and cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, during the second session of the Namibia-Angola political and diplomatic virtual consultations.
The minister said due to the closure of the border, there has been an increase in border violations.
“Namibia stands ready to reopen its border with Angola, as it has done with all other neighbouring countries. However, this can only work on a reciprocal basis,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
She further stated that Namibia and Angola in 2005 signed a visa exemption agreement for holders of diplomatic, official, service and national passports.
She said the 30-day entry period provided for in the 2005 agreement has proved to be too short for people visiting each country for business, tourism and medical services.
“We are therefore desirous to have this 30-day period extended to 90 days, as doing so will benefit people-to-people exchanges and solidify our relations further,” said the minister said.
She noted that the implementation of some agreements between the two countries is going well, but trade between Namibia and Angola remains undesirably low.
“Given our history, I believe there is more we can do to increase our trade volumes and activities. To address that, there is an urgent need to expedite the operationalisation of the joint trade committee as stipulated in the trade and economic cooperation agreement, to spearhead trade and investment promotion between our two countries,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah went on to say that the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement will go a long way in the realisation of the two countries' agreements and of Agenda 2063.