The construction of a Dry Port Facility at Walvis Bay in Namibia to be opened by President Mnangagwa soon, is set to increase business and trade opportunities between Zimbabwe and the rest of the world, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said.
The construction of the Dry Port in Namibia is in line with President Mnangagwa’s mantra that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.
Minister Matiza visited facility on Friday last week to inspect the construction works ahead of President Mnangagwa’s visit.
He said the contractors had assured him that they were putting final touches and everything would be in place before President Mnangagwa’s visit.
Minister Matiza was accompanied by his permanent secretary Engineer Amos Marahwa, senior officials from his Ministry and Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Namibia Rofina Chikava.
Speaking to The Herald upon his return, Minister Matiza said he was impressed by the work covered so far at the one storey office block, which is conveniently located next to the sea.
He said the construction of the facility was evidence of President Mnangagwa’s commitment to see Zimbabwe doing business with all countries of the world and attainment of Vision 2030, which seeks to transform the country into an upper middle income economy in the next 11 years.
“This Dry Port Facility is going to be officially opened by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa at a date to be announced soon,” said Minister Matiza.
“This is an important facility by any measure as it is going to spur trade between Zimbabwe and the rest of the world. Zimbabweans are importing a large number of vehicles through Walvis Bay. Its opening will come in handy as a transit and storage facility for vehicles and goods bound for Zimbabwe.
“Lots of fish are also imported through Walvis Bay and operationalisation of the Dry Port Facility will bring immense economic opportunities to Zimbabwean haulage companies and other revenue streams for the Government.” Minister Matiza also held a bilateral meeting with his Namibian counterpart John Mutorwa during which they agreed on the need to continue working together in areas of rail and road to increase connectivity between the two countries.
In a related development, Cabinet recently approved the construction of a rail line linking Zimbabwe and the Beira seaport in Mozambique by an Australian company called Balmoral Investments. The rail line would be used to carry mining and agricultural produce destined for other countries.
Balmoral Investments, according to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, owns a piece of land at the Beira seaport and is going to construct a dry port and a container depot that would be handed over to the Government of Zimbabwe under a Build Operate and Transfer arrangement.
It is understood that Balmoral Investments is already mobilising funds for the construction of the sea port. In March, Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Balbina Daes Pienaar said Zimbabwe had completed the construction of a Dry Port Facility at Walvis Bay in Namibia, in a move expected to boost trade and bilateral relations between the two countries.
She said this during her country’s 29th Independence anniversary celebrations held in Harare.
“To date, over 25 Memorandums of Understanding and agreements were signed between the two countries of which most are implemented and well on track. Of particular importance is the completion of the Dry Port Facility by the Government of Zimbabwe at the Port of Walvis Bay in Namibia and soon to be commissioned by His Excellency President Mnangagwa.
“The Dry Port Facility is aimed at improving trade between the two countries and to easy movement of goods and services through Walvis Bay, a strategically located logistics hub in the Southern African region,” she said.
She said mutual relationship between the two countries was yielding results since the establishment of the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation in 1992. She said Namibia was growing rapidly and urged the people of Zimbabwe to consider investing in the “Land of the Brave” in various areas.