The completion of the long awaited Maitengwe and Mphoeng bridges between Botswana and Zimbabwe has been regarded as a giant step in smoothing the links between the two countries, further lubricating investment opportunities.
Giving a keynote address during the second opening of Mphoeng bridge in Matsiloje , the Minister of Works and Transport, Johny Swartz, pointed out that the two governments realized that infrastructure was of vital importance and played a great role in improving the people’s lives.
He projected that the bridges will ease the movement of goods between the two countries and boost further environment opportunities.
Swartz stated that the commitment of the two governments was evident in improving the living standards of people and both countries were keen in ensuring that the two bridges were done for the good of the citizens. Swartz highlighted that this was a development that many people have been looking forward to, due to an increased volume of traffic between the two countries.
“Our intentions remain clear and that is to ensure that everyone, irrespective of where he lives, is able to have access to easy modes of transportation,” he said.
Swartz said that by the government’s building of such an infrastructure, a return of investment was expected and looked forward to full utilization of the infrastructure not only for improvements in the standards of living, but also as a way of contributing to the national economy and growth.
His counterpart, Nicholas Goche, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development commended the then minister, Dumiso Dabengwa, for playing a very important role in making sure that the project turned into reality.
“It was agreed that Zimbabwe designs and constructs the bridges at Mphoeng Border Post while Botswana would do the same at Maitengwe border post,” said the Minister.
He mentioned that the construction of the Mphoeng and Maitengwe bridges was very important in improving the traffic flows between the two countries, further enhancing trade transactions.
The bridge was constructed and designed by the Department of Roads in the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development and wholly funded by the government of Zimbabwe.
The project is part of the SADC Transportation Protocol and is a result of the 2003 bilateral agreement between the governments of Botswana and Zimbabwe.