Zambia and Namibia on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build an oil and gas pipeline connecting the two countries.
The agreement was signed during the 10th Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) session in Swakopmund, Namibia’s coastal western city, by Zambia’s Energy Minister Peter Kapala and Namibia’s Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo.
The pipeline would connect Namibia’s Walvis Bay to Zambia.
The two countries have committed to actualizing an MoU on the development and implementation of the Namibia-Zambian oil products and natural gas pipeline project, reads a communique issued at the conclusion of the JPC on Thursday.
“The commission called on the private sectors in the two countries to capitalize on the immense opportunity and potential that the MoU would generate,’ it added.
If executed as planned, the project will have a significant impact on addressing the two countries and Southern Africa’s petroleum availability deficiencies, ultimately leading to a drop in pump prices, especially for Zambia, which depends heavily on imports from Europe and the Middle East.
On other bilateral issues, the JPC urged the establishment of a one-stop border post at Katima-Mulilo/Wenela that would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to facilitate trade between the two countries.
The commission also welcomed the completion of a feasibility study for the construction of a railway line from Grootfontein in Namibia to Katima Mulilo in Zambia, which would enable the two countries to create a railway link.
‘The JPC committed to fast-track the project’s operationalization,’ the communique adds.
The JPC was hosted by Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, with the Zambian delegation led by Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Stanley Kakubo.