Chobe looks to Sweden influence for Kasane Kazungula Re-development Plan

A renewed effort to liven up the area around Kasane-Kazungula termed the “Kasane-Kazungula Re-development Plan” is likely to get its influence from as far as Sweden, thanks largely to the twinning relationship between Kasane and the Vanersborg Municipality in the European country.

The multi-million Pula project is expected to among other things identify strategically located land parcels within the Chobe district to maximise economic yield. Recently, Chobe Land Board Chairman – Johane Chenjekwa said that there is progress with the plan and confirmed the role that Vanersborg Municipality could play going forward. The Government took a deliberate decision through this Re-Development Plan to enhance the physical, social and economic character of Kasane as Chobe District’s capital by 2021.

The project will result in waterfront developments such as hotels, restaurants, offices, urban spaces and a common jetty, among others. Chenjekwa recently told journalists in Francistown that the general objective of the strategy is to address the issue of riverfront accessibility by the general public as well as to further uplift the tourist town.             

“Stakeholder consultations have been made by the Vanersborg Municipality representatives from Sweden, where a detailed presentation and launch of the Strategy was made,” Chenjekwa said.

DJI Phantom 3 SE 4K flying over swedish landscape

He emphasised that the Shoreline Strategy will further be incorporated into the Kasane/Kazungula Re-development project. Outlining the current challenges, he said the general public is restricted from accessing Chobe Riverfront for leisure activities. He also said there are limited recreational options within the township save for boat cruises and game drives.

“The Shoreline Development Strategy thus proposes other developments such as a pedestrian walkway along the river bank from Chobe Safari Lodge to the new Kazungula Bridge, Community Swimming Pool, Cable Car from Plateau and Kgaphamadi, Restaurant and Picnic Areas, among others,” he said

In terms of achievements made thus far, he said the district leadership had met to see how all those allotted land around the area may be used with regards to the implementation of both the Shoreline Strategy and Re-development Plan. Chenjekwa also said the Project Coordinator for the Kasane Kazungula Re-Development Plan, Jobe Ofetotse has since been appointed to spearhead the project.

“As we speak, he has hit the ground running dealing with immediate issues relating to the project. Consultations with the affected individuals are on the cards and urgent as we proceed with the project,” he added.

Chobe district is made up of eight villages namely Pandamatenga, Lesoma, Kazungula, Mabele, Kavimba, Kachikau, Satau and Parakarungu. The district comprises Chobe National Park and Six District reserves which amount to about 74 percent of the total land in the district. Only 26 percent of the land is reserved for human settlement. Chenjekwa also said that Chobe is one of the areas that were identified as special economic zones in a bid to diversify Botswana’s economy. He revealed that the Board had allocated 30 000 hectares of additional land for the expansion of the existing Pandamatenga Commercial Farmers to facilitate the dream by the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA).

“The Authority has further submitted an application to the board for 100 hectares for the establishment of the development of Agro Processing, Common Facilities and Investors residential area. The Authority has engaged Pandamatenga community for the acquisition of this land in Kgotla meeting held on the 4th of June 2019, whereby the community agreed with the proposal put before it,” he said.

Botswana resort town seeks partnership with Chinese companies as part of the redevelopment strategy

Meanwhile, it’s emerged that Chobe authorities also seek to partner with Chinese companies as part of its redevelopment plan aimed at maximising the area’s economic yield.

Johane Chenjekwa, the chairperson of Chobe Land Board, addressed journalists recently in the township of Kasane, the capital of Chobe situated some 1,100 km northwest of the southern African country’s capital city Gaborone.

Authorities in northwestern Botswana have decided to enhance socio-economic growth in Kasane via a redevelopment plan, Chenjekwa said.

“Our region is endowed with a lovely environment like the seaside city of Zhuhai in China’s southwest Guangdong Province. It is against this backdrop that we are seeking partnership with companies from China to redevelop Chobe,” he said.

Chenjekwa said the plan foresees implementing a shoreline project that will turn the Chobe River area into a popular holiday resort attracting people from home and abroad. 

The Chinese government has assisted Botswana in various sectors such as transport, education, culture, energy, health, agriculture and housing since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975.

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