Open Borders, Open Minds: Zimbabwe and Botswana Lead the Way

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Opinion and Analysis | 0 comments

Ashley Masakadza

Passports will nolonger stand in the way of free movement between Zimbabwe and Botswana, as announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This landmark decision paves the way for a future where African borders are open, allowing for greater freedom, trade, and cultural exchange.

Speaking at the Kusi Ideas Festival in Kenya, President Mnangagwa said the country has entered into an agreement with Botswana that passports will nolonger be required to travel between the two countries.

“We have agreed that from now on, there should be no question of how to enter Zimbabwe or Botswana. The two of us have agreed, that we are African and we should be able to walk into Botswana, Zambia and Kenya without restrictions,” he said.

This bold move reflects a growing sentiment across Africa, where countries are working to do away with the artificial barriers that were imposed by colonial powers as they continue to hamper development and unity.

President Mnangagwa added, “When we were sitting there I said my brother why do we restrict ourselves? Somebody said in the past when the global north came, they created these borders which ended up with a furnace kitchen on the other side and a bedroom on the other side. Why then do we keep these restrictions? We should open them up and move freely,”

The removal of passport requirements for Zimbabwe and Botswana citizens marks the beginning of a new era. This act of unity and trust will undoubtedly lead to increased economic activity, deeper cultural understanding, and a stronger sense of pan-African identity.

This is a model that other African nations should follow, for a future where the continent is not divided by borders, but united by shared aspirations and a common destiny.

This is not just about free movement, it’s about breaking down the mental barriers that have kept us apart for too long. By removing the physical obstacles, we can start to build bridges of understanding and cooperation. This is a powerful step towards a brighter future for all of Africa.


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