Progress toward establishing a National Single Window moved forward after an inter-ministerial workshop in Namibia held Feb. 27, 2017. Attended by senior public and private sector stakeholders, the event was a critical step in moving Namibia closer to implementing its National Single Window for Trade. The primary objective was to determine how to structure the operating authority for NSW in Namibia, with participants deliberating over fully Government funded options and the many possibilities offered through a Public Private Partnership.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is undertaking cross-border gender assessments in SADC countries this month composed of field research at three important border crossing areas: the Mwanza border in Malawi, the Nakonde border in Zambia, and the Kazungula border in Botswana.
From February 1-5, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub trained government and private sector stakeholders in Malawi on business process reengineering to prepare them for National Single Window (NSW) implementation.
On January 27, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub organized and hosted a meeting of Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) senior managers and directors from other government agencies who are to be involved in implementation of the National Single Window (NSW) and members of the NSW Project Management Unit (PMU).
On December 4, 2015, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted Lauren Scott, the Economic Officer for Africa within the Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs at the State Department, at the Trade Hub offices in Gaborone, Botswana.
During the week of November 23, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub visited a number of government agencies in Malawi to collect information required for the National Single Window Readiness Assessment.
From November 10-12, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in a workshop organized by the Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry with support from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
From November 2-4, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub provided training in Data Harmonization to further develop the Namibian Government’s understanding of National Single Window in readiness for implementation.
From October 27-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub Customs Modernization and Single Window Advisor Alistair Gall and Evans Chinembiri from the USAID Regional Economic Growth Office for Southern Africa participated in the Second Global Customs and Trade Facilitation Summit held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The event attracted 1,000 participants from over 100 nations with the goal of promoting global trade.
From November 2-3, 2015, USAID Southern Africa’s Paul Pleva and members of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) in Blantyre and then visited the Mwanza Border Post to meet with various government officials and agencies regarding the development of a National Single Window (NSW) for Malawi.
From October 27-29, 2015, in Lilongwe, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub provided training in Data Harmonization to build the capacity of government and private sector stakeholders in Malawi to implement National Single Window. Similar training was presented the previous week in Blantyre.
On October 22, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented a training session on project management to the National Single Window (NSW) Project Management Unit in Gaborone, Botswana. The first phase of training took place in late September 2015 to equip the PMU with the necessary skills, techniques, and methodologies for successful project management.
From October 20-22, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub provided training in Data Harmonization to improve the ability of government and private sector stakeholders in Malawi to implement the National Single Window.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored delegates from Malawi and Namibia to the 4th International Single Window Conference hosted by the African Alliance for E-Commerce (AACE) in Brazzaville, Congo from October 5-7, 2015.
From September 21-25, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted the inaugural workshop of the Namibia National Single Window Legal Technical Working Group in Windhoek. Workshop participants identified a list of priority laws likely to be affected by the implementation of National Single Window; each of the priority laws was then assigned to working group members for their analysis and recommendations to the group for peer review.
From September 21-25, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a project management training workshop for prospective members of the Botswana National Single Window Project Management Unit (NSW PMU).
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a training workshop for Namibia’s National Single Window Working Group on Business Process Reengineering (BPR) in Windhoek, Namibia from September 8-10, 2015.
On September 9, 2015, the Trade Hub hosted a meeting by Cluster 1 of the SADC Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Thematic Group at the Trade Hub offices in Gaborone. Cluster 1, which consists of Trade and Customs, is chaired by Evans Chinembiri, USAID/Southern Africa Project Officer.
On September 10, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub submitted the final version of the Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Programme (CTFP) document to SADC officials. This version of the CTFP incorporates changes that were made as a result of the inputs received from Member State representatives at the CTFP Workshop held in Johannesburg from September 1-3, 2015.
During the week of August 31, 2015, the Trade Hub traveled to the city of Zomba, Malawi to meet with key personnel of the National Statistical Office (NSO) and ensure harmonization with the National Single Window initiative currently supported by the Trade Hub in Malawi.
On September 1, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub funded a multi-stakeholder workshop for the Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the formulation of a National Trade Policy. The purpose of the workshop was to make stakeholders aware of the country’s need for a comprehensive national trade policy document.
From September 1-3, 2015, the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) Directorate of Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment, supported by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, held a three-day Consultative Workshop on the SADC Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Programme (CTFP) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This week the SA Trade Hub Single Window Advisor and short-term consultant Karen Henderson visited the Malawi Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Pharmacies, Medicines and Poisons Board, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Malawi Bureau of Standards, the Malawi Police Service and the National Statistics Office to meet and discuss document and data collection and harmonization.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted training during the week of August 10, 2015 for the Lesotho National Trade Facilitation Committee. The Lesotho Ministry of Trade and Industry requested that the Trade Hub provide the training, which covered the details of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a workshop in Lilongwe, Malawi from August 3-6, 2015 for the Malawi National Single Window (NSW) Legal Technical Working Group. The participants represented seven different government agencies including the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Malawi Revenue Authority, and the Ministry of Finance.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with Namibia’s Ministry of Finance and Namibia’s Customs and Excise, launched a powerful new tool on July 22, 2015 to increase and facilitate cross-border trade. Namibia’s Trade Information Portal is a web-based platform that provides an authoritative “one-stop shop” of readily accessible trade, customs, and compliance information.
The official launch of the Namibia Trade Information Portal has been confirmed for July 22, 2015. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Finance with the Honorable Minister Calle Schlettwein giving the keynote speech in the presence of USAID’s leadership.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub met with Southern African Development Community (SADC) representatives in Gaborone to discuss ongoing technical assistance to SADC in their desire to design and develop a regional Trade Portal for SADC.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub visited Malawi from June 8-12, 2015, to work with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to establish a technical working group to conduct the legal review for the Malawi National Single Window (NSW).
The Southern Africa Trade Hub’s Change Management Training course in Botswana wrapped up on May 28, 2015 in Gaborone after bringing representatives of the Botswana government and private sector organizations together to begin the process of developing “Change Agents” for National Single Window (NSW) environment implementation. The course was enthusiastically received by all participants, and the Trade Hub was encouraged to host other similar training events to address change management in the future. Of particular interest was the segment on mitigating fear of change when modernizing government border clearance services.
From May 19-21, participants from nine different government and private sector stakeholder agencies were given Change Management Training on National Single Window by the Trade Hub. The training was designed to prepare relevant officials in Malawi for the successful implementation of National Single Window (NSW), which will allow parties involved in trade and transport to submit all trade-related documents via a single electronic entry point to reduce the time and cost of trade.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented at the World Customs Organization’s IT Conference and Exhibition May 6-8 in Freeport, Bahamas on the topic “Efficient Transit Solutions for Reducing Costs of Trading.” The three-day conference and exhibition addressed the use of modern information and communications technology to help countries connect to global and regional value chains.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted the first stage of its legal review of Namibia’s Single Window legal environment from May 18-21, 2015, in Windhoek. The legal review is designed to assess the country’s legislative readiness for National Single Window and will result in recommendations to harmonize Namibia’s legislation with international standards.
Building on the Project Management training given to the National Single Window (NSW) project team in Namibia in November 2014, the Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a Change Management training seminar for senior managers from government and parastatal organisations, from April 28-30 in Swakopmund, Namibia. The seminar provided future members of the Single Window Technical Committee with a common understanding of effective change management strategy and how it will help to ensure smooth implementation of the Single Window program in Namibia.
On April 23, the Trade Hub’s Trade Facilitation Director attended a roundtable discussion on regional trade at the residence of the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Pretoria. Representatives of USAID and the State Department joined the US Customs and Border Protection Attaché and representatives of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in a dialogue to discuss the benefits of implementing trade facilitation measures in line with the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in the second meeting of Namibia’s National Single Window Steering Committee on April 7 at the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SMEs (formerly the Ministry of Trade & Industry) in Windhoek. The NSW Steering Committee is the highest decision-making body for the National Single Window project and will approve budgetary strategy, define and realize benefits, and monitor overarching project risk, quality, and schedule.
The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting a stakeholder engagement and communications audit in Botswana that will result in a communications strategy for National Single Window (NSW). The strategy will build support for NSW and promote awareness of this initiative, which the Government of Botswana adopted earlier this year.
On March 16, 17 and 19, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a workshop in Gaborone, Botswana, to increase awareness of the benefits of Coordinated Border Management (CBM) and the need for this trade facilitation approach in Botswana.
The Trade Hub is currently engaged in an evaluation exercise for its Coordinated Border Management (CBM) activity. CBM was designed to encourage better cooperation and coordination among agencies working at the borders to simplify the clearance of goods and reduce the time that and the JBCs were functioning effectively.
In collaboration with its implementing partner, the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), the Southern Africa Trade Hub supported a three-day workshop on WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point & Notification Authority March 23-25 in Matsapha, Swaziland.
The Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Program (CTFP) draft for the Southern Africa Development Community was prepared by the Southern Africa Trade Hub and delivered to the SADC Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Directorate.
The 2014 workshop brought together 80 attendees from the private sector, academia and international organizations under the theme “Managing Supply Chain Risks: A Southern African Perspective.”