**FILE** Mokgweetsi Masisi (Mark Mackenzie/Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Wikimedia Commons)
**FILE** Mokgweetsi Masisi (Mark Mackenzie/Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Wikimedia Commons)

Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Namibian President Hage Geingob on Friday launched the usage of national identity cards as documents for cross-border travel between the two countries, reported The New Times, Rwanda’s largest daily newspaper.

“The authorization of the use of national identity documents to cross our national borders is a clear demonstration of our steadfast commitment to promote relations between our countries and foster social cohesion among our citizens, as well as enhance regional cooperation and integration,” Masisi said at the launching ceremony. He added the leaders found it necessary to commence this remarkable initiative, which is aimed at easing the movement of the citizens of the two neighboring countries.

Since Botswana and Namibia share a land border, while the communities on either side of the boundary speak the same language and share a common culture, Geingob said it makes perfect sense that effective and uncomplicated means of travel between respective communities should be facilitated. 

“Let us celebrate this moment in history, a moment which defines our kinship and friendship, a moment that brings friends and relatives closer to one another,” Geingob said.

The ceremony was conducted at Mamuno Border Post, southwest of Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

“Mamuno Border Post is a strategic location with immense value and promising potential for tourism of the two countries,” Masisi said, adding that the movement will be rolled out at other border posts between the two countries within the next financial year (2023/2024).

Botswana and Namibia share cultural, historic and family ties, and enjoy cordial bilateral relations.

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