Thursday 6 May 2021
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SACU key for regional development

The Chairperson of SADC, King Mswati III also the Head of State for the Kingdom of Swaziland was in Namibia on an official visit.
During the visit, the chairperson paid a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob at State House where ministers from the two countries also held bilateral talks.
The ministers spoke on issues related to trade and investment as well as the need to enhance domestic value addition and the need to end the practice of exporting raw material.
King Mswati also visited the Southern African Customs Union(SACU) where he toured the building and met the secretariat.
As it is a standard practice for the Chairpersons of SADC to visit the SADC Secretariat Headquarters in Gaborone during their tenure, King Mswati did just that.
He jetted into the country after a three-day working visit there.
In his address during the State Banquet hosted in honor of Mswati yesterday, Geingob said the two countries made progress in diverse areas in order to improve the quality of life of their citizens in peace and harmony.
“It is also my earnest wish that our governments and people will continue to work together to promote our shared values,” he said.
Geingob said he is hopeful that Mswati’s visit to the SADC headquarters in Botswana will go a long way in bringing increased prominence to the regional agenda.
“In the same vein, your visit to the SACU Headquarters in Windhoek in your capacity as the Chairperson of SACU has given us the privilege to share views on many of the issues,” he said.
SACU remains an important institution for promoting regional development and trade, said Geingob.
“In fact, it has come a long way since the years of domination of SACU policy by one country.  SACU Common External Tariff had been a matter of some concern for the various members of the Customs Union,” he pointed out.
“I am glad that the 2002 SACU agreement that became effective in 2004 has hopefully changed all that.  As a result of this agreement, 2002 SACU agreement, all member states are seen to be participating as equals and decisions are to be made by consensus.”
“Further, the agreement goes well beyond just the revenue sharing mechanism.
It incorporates all other developmental dimensions of industrial development, joint decision making procedures, common policies, institutional bodies, and an all-encompassing trade tariff setting organ,” Geingob remarked.
He added: “It is our hope that the institutional arrangements will soon become functional to facilitate full implementation of the 2002 agreement.  We also need to come to grips with the volatility of SACU revenues for member states.
I have no doubt that given the goodwill that prevails in SACU countries we will resolve these issues as well.”
Geingob said the needs of citizens of SACU and SADC countries are identical.
“It is my hope that all the countries in the region can pull together towards this shared goal.
In unity, within nations and between nations, there is strength,” he said.

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