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.
During the workshop, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and World Customs Organization (WCO) experts presented the results of the CBM Diagnostic Review that was carried out by the World Customs Organization in Botswana during January 2015 for review and discussion.
CBM promotes integration and cooperation among border agencies to avoid duplication, repetition, and delays. Improved border agency cooperation is a key provision of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The CBM Workshop was also an opportunity for Botswana to discuss the Presidential Directive that was signed in January to make way for the implementation of the key trade facilitation tool National Single Window. In his address to the workshop, the BURS Commissioner General noted that “a special thank you goes to the Southern Africa Trade Hub [which] has been instrumental in helping us in reaching the point that we are now at with the Single Window, and we sincerely appreciate the Trade Hub as our partner.”
The BURS Commissioner of Customs & Excise introduced the Roadmap for Implementation of the National Single Window in Botswana, seeking government commitment and approval for the establishment of the multi-agency Project Management Unit, Steering Committee, and Technical Committees needed for the Botswana Single Window Interface for Traders (B-SWIFT). These foundational elements are critical for the successful implementation of National Single Window in the country.