USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), Thabo Khasipe, in Windhoek, Namibia on October 8, 2015 to discuss possible areas of collaboration. During the visit, the Trade Hub briefed SACU on enabling environment activities including investor roadmaps, standards, and the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to obtain the SACU Secretariat’s input.
Mr. Khasipe highlighted SACU’s interest in learning more about AGOA following its recent renewal and indicated interest in the development of a value chain-based SACU AGOA strategy to capitalize on economies of scale. The SACU Deputy Executive Secretary suggested that an AGOA Awareness workshop involving trade and investment agencies would identify the opportunities AGOA presents to SACU Member States and encourage collaboration among SACU countries on increasing AGOA utilization.
SACU, the world`s oldest custom union established in 1910, was established to promote economic development through regional coordination of trade. The five-member body is made up of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The customs union collects duties on local production and customs duties on members’ imports from outside SACU, and uses a revenue-sharing formula to share the revenue among member states.
AGOA gives sub-Saharan African nations duty-free access to U.S. markets for certain goods such as textiles and has been renewed for ten years. SACU disseminated a press release about the meeting, which can be found at the following link: http://www.sacu.int/docs/pr/2015/pr1008.pdf
Photo: The Trade Hub’s Cosmas Mamhunze and George Makore meet with the Deputy Executive Secretary of SACU Thabo Khasipe (center).