The Ghanzi District Council and the Omaheke Regional Council in Namibia are in the process of cementing a twinning agreement that will see the two parties cooperate in different areas of development. On Monday, a delegation from Botswana is expected to visit the Omaheke Region with a view to get exposure, and share and exchange ideas on possible projects that the two can cooperate in.
The most important component of the twinning agreement is that it will look at the plight of the San people, especially that the two regions host a huge number of this ethnic group.
“The envisaged twinning agreement will be signed between the Omaheke Regional Council and the Ghanzi District Council, which are in close proximity of each other, but also based on the fact that both are sharing common challenges related to basic service provision to rural communities, cross-border livestock theft and HIV/Aids,” said the Omaheke Regional Council in a statement. The two parties will also optimize the utilization of the Trans-Kalahari highway through joint innovative planning.
“Ultimately, the twinning agreement will be a re-enforcement of the national call for sound and sustainable bilateral relations, as well as enhanced regional growth in the SADC Region, through arrangement,” the statement said.
During its visit scheduled for July 29 to August 3, the Botswana delegation will hold meetings with Omaheke councillors and there will be a presentation on the Gobabis Municipality sewerage plant. The delegation will visit Smallingerland housing project, poultry and mushroom projects, the Build Together Programme houses, Shack Dwelling Housing and the Omaheke Regional Wild Silk project.
The delegation will also pay a courtesy call on the Botswana High Commissioner, Norman Moleboge, the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, John Pandeni, Governor of the Khomas Region Sophia Shaningwa, and the Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Matthew Shikongo. A presentation on Namibia’s decentralization programme will be made while site visits to the Waste Water Treatment Re-cycle Plant and the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) Incubation centre form part of the programme.
In May this year, a 14-member delegation headed by the Omaheke Governor, Laura McLeod, visited Botswana to exchange ideas on local and regional governance, and the process of decentralization. A statement from council said the Namibian delegation had the opportunity to tour the main towns and villages of Botswana.
The delegation mainly focused on the progress made with regard to decentralization, local governance systems and structures, and economic development and other initiatives geared towards the improvement of the quality of life of marginalized groups such as the Basarwa. The delegation also learnt about the sustainable management of the Devil’s Claw plant and other projects aimed at uplifting living conditions of the San people and thus would be interested in getting ideas on how this could be applied in Namibia. “It has paved the way for a twinning agreement soon to be concluded after consultation with the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development,” the statement said.