The Omaheke Regional Council and Botswana’s Ghanzi District Council renewed their memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Charles Hill, Botswana, on August 13, 2019.

Ghanzi is a district in western Botswana, bordering the Omaheke region of Namibia. Charles Hill is one of its two sub districts located about 120 kilometres from Omaheke’s regional capital, Gobabis.

The two parties signed the MoU with the aim of exchanging experiences and skills in matters related to social, economic and physical development of their respective regions. 

The implementation of the MoU will be done through networking and information-sharing sessions, councillors and staff study tours and exchange programmes and promotional activities.

Both councils will establish a joint technical committee comprising three members from each Council with the administrative heads of both councils among them. This committee is tasked to develop its Terms of Reference and action plans as well as monitor the implementation of the agreed action plans.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Omaheke Regional Council Chairperson, Honourable Ignatius Kariseb, who signed the MoU on behalf of his Council, said the renewal of this MoU was long overdue as the previous MoU expired in March 2014.

He added that his Council was looking forward to a strong partnership with Ghanzi District Council.

On their part, Ghanzi District Council Chairperson, Honourable Galetlhaole Sixpence, highlighted some areas that his Council would like to learn from Omaheke Regional Council.  These include the development of their local economic development strategy, processing of natural resources into value-added products, operation of market stalls, school learners’ performance, promotion of cultural activities and solid waste management.

Speaking at the same occasion, Omaheke Regional Governor, Honourable Festus Ueitele, said that the cooperation of the two parties would enhance the relationship between the neighbouring towns of Ghanzi and Gobabis.

He added that the collaboration between the two parties is a reaffirmation of the strong ties that exists between the two parties.

Due to their geographical locations, the Omaheke region and Ghanzi district share common features.  Both regions share cultural similarities with ethnic groups comprising the Batswana, San and Ovaherero residing in both regions.

Economically, both the Omaheke region and Ghanzi district rely primarily on agriculture and are largely hailed as the leading producers of beef in their respective countries. 

Omaheke region and Ghanzi district each have the smallest population sizes in their respective countries – a mere 3 per cent of Namibia’s total population and 2 per cent of Botswana’s total population.

The MoU, which came into effect on the date of its signature by both signatories, will remain in effect for five years and may be extended for another five years through mutual consent by both parties.

Various Councillors and officials of both Councils attended the signing ceremony.