Kwa Nokeng Oil has implored freight industry stakeholders, both government and private to improve infrastructure, minimise ports of entry delays and security issues in order to spur the country’s transport sector growth. Speaking at the inaugural Botswana Transport and Energy Summit and Expo 2023, Chief Executive Officer of Kwa Nokeng Oil, Mahube Mpungwa said through cross border trade, the transport sector contributes immensely to the economy.

“If there are a lot of delays at the border, companies will find alternative routes. There is competition out there if we delay our processes at the borders,” said Mpungwa. With 33 million pula collected in levies from cross-border truckers annually, Mpungwa implored the government to engage on issues emerging in the transport sector, with emphasizes on security. “We need to ensure that all the goods transported through Botswana are safe. One thing that is key in the transport industry is safety,” said Mpungwa.

He said Kwa Nokeng Oil is determined to sustain its business to ensure that Botswana attains its aspirations, as a business hub. Meanwhile, Acting Minister of Minerals and Energy, Thulaganyo Segokgo said the transport and energy industry needs to build a resilient industry that can withstand future shocks.

“We need a transport and energy industry robust enough for the next pandemic,” said Segokgo. Segokgo also highlighted that transport –passenger and freight, coupled with energy are key in economic development. He acknowledged Transport and Energy Summit and Expo 2023 for bringing together key stakeholders from government, private sectors, international organisations and civil society to engage in a dialogue that will focus on and emphasise the need for integrated transport and energy planning.

The Minister called for cross-cutting nature of transport and energy in developing Botswana’s economy amidst the economic turbulence and challenges being experienced while emerging from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and going through the impacts of the Ukraine – Russia war.

The ravages of Covid-19 pandemic and the impacts of the Ukraine-Russia war have affected supply and prices of fuel world-wide and economies of the various countries around the globe. Segokgo challenged both public and private leaders to rethink business strategies and come up with more transformative and innovative solutions that can bridge the gap between economic challenges currently being faced and the need to create more employment opportunities.

“When economies were brought to a standstill at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the most dramatic impacts were felt in the transport sector – starting with job losses,” Segokgo said. The Summit held under the theme: ‘Leveraging Transport and Energy Capabilities to Transform Botswana Economy’, brought together local, regional and global Leaders that have immense knowledge, exposure and experience to assist in attaining the objective of transport and energy transformation.

The organiser of the summit, Progressive Institute’s Chief Executive Officer, Mmoloki Mmolotsi said Botswana needs a sustainable transport and energy sector, as urbanization has brought congestion. Mmolotsi implored authorities to invest in smart-urban transport, while encouraging dialogue on enhancing policies on transport and energy.