Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa inaugurated his country’s 18 300-square-metre dry port at Walvis Bay on Friday.
Construction on the dry port started in 2015. It will be used for the storage and handling of the landlocked country’s imports and exports to and from the United States and Europe mainly.
Zimbabwe has been using ports in South Africa and Mozambique, which resulted in costly and time-consuming trade. Using the port of Walvis Bay is expected to cut costs and time dramatically.
“We are indebted to Namibia for granting us this rare gift to enable Zimbabwe to be part of Namibia’s plan to turn Namport into the regional trade hub,” said Mnangagwa.
He said the dry port, which is situated on the south side of the Walvis Bay harbour, would go a long way in realising the economic development and integration of the two countries, which are long-time friends. He said it would also not just serve Zimbabwe, but other landlocked nations, such as Malawi, Botswana, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, too.
Namibian president Hage Geingob, who was also at the inauguration, said since the integration of Walvis Bay into Namibia in 1994 it has been the Namibian government’s vision to develop a port that can serve its landlocked neighbours and facilitate trade relations in the region.
“We are confident this dry port will become a one-stop shop for seamless logistics to and from Zimbabwe through the Namibian port,” said Geingob.