Botswana’s President Masisi visits SACU Secretariat
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi was recently briefed on the shortfalls and developments of the customs union by the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Executive Secretary, Paulina Elago in Windhoek on Thursday, during his official one-day visit.
Elago stated that the Summit of the SACU Heads of State or Government was not able to convene pending the conclusion of bilateral consultations since the last Summit held in June 2018.
The issues raised during the Summit mainly relate to architecture for tariff-setting and the Review of the Revenue Sharing Arrangement. Elago also stressed that there had been limited progress made in the implementation of the Ministerial Work Programme due to divergent views by the Member States in these areas.
“We trust that the Heads of State or Government will have an opportunity to reflect on these issues and conclude their bilateral consultations to provide the much-needed direction on the way forward,” Elago said.
She added that the Secretariat is looking forward to having greater clarity on the Work Programme as it will ensure that they develop their strategic plan to attain agreed objectives
Despite challenges around the programme, Elago also stated that there have been some achievements in the implementation of the programme, including ongoing work on the Feasibility of establishing a financing mechanism for infrastructural projects in the region; identification of value regional value chains; and development of comprehensive Programme for the Trade Facilitation, amongst others.
Elago also highlighted progress made on the implementation of Sacu priorities related to Trade Negotiations, Trade Facilitation, and Revenue Management.
SACU is a customs union among five countries of Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Its headquarters are in Windhoek.