Wednesday, February 16, 2011
By Chibaula Silwamba
Wed 16 Feb. 2011, 04:00 CAT
BOTSWANA and Zambia have signed a bilateral agreement on customs administration meant to facilitate fast clearance and movement of goods between the two countries.
In an interview, the Botswana High Commissioner to Zambia Tuelonyana Oliphant said his country was in the process of using electronic features at the Botswana-Zambia borders such as finger printing to fast-track movement. She said the two governments want to end delays in serving customers.
“We have introduced e-passport which has some high security feature to avoid it being forged and abused. I think Zambia is also in the process of starting using e-passport,” High Commissioner Oliphant said.
“There is a delegation from our immigration meeting their Zambian counterparts and are in Livingstone touring the border so that they can share information and experiences on immigration technology at the borders.”
High Commissioner Oliphant said Botswana and Zambia were looking for more donors to finance the construction of the Kazungula bridge.
She said so far, Japan International Corporation Agency and the African Development Bank were interested in funding the Kazungula project.
“We expect that Kazungula, which is going to be a one-stop-border-post, will further enhance movement of goods and services.
We are very hopeful of the implementation of the project,” High Commissioner Oliphant said.
She said feasibility studies of the Kazungula project had just been completed and the two countries were about to meet to review the report and, thereafter, start implementing the project.
“The bridge will also have a railway component. The Kazungula project will promote trade between Botswana and Zambia and enhance social ties. There is no doubt that this project is going to take off,” said High Commissioner Oliphant.
“The political leaders of Zambia and Botswana have a political will to ensure this project takes off.”