The USAID-funded Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH) project delivered technical assistance to governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations in advancing Southern African regional integration, inta-regional trade, and food security and in strengthening selected value chains.
SATH’s objectives included:
- Strengthening the technical and management capacities of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat and other regional bodies that promote trade and address food security;
- Providing technical assistance in harmonizing policies and improving regulatory effectiveness in energy, finance, investment, and ICT to increase investment and promote trade in services;
- Improving the efficiency of the Maputo and Trans-Kalahari trade corridors; and
- Developing regional networks for market-information sharing and monitoring to encourage regulatory and policy reform.
Working as a subcontractor, Nathan Associates implemented trade facilitation activities, guided by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 2013 Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the SADC Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Program (CTFP), with the aim of reducing regional trade costs and promoting TFA implementation.
These activities focused on customs connectivity, coordinated border management, and national single windows.
The trade facilitation team succeeded in:
- Supporting the drafting of the Southern African Development Community?s Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Programme (CTFP), aimed at assisting member countries in addressing impediments to the flow of goods and meeting TFA provisions. The CTFP which was finalized at the 16th Meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration.
- Drafting and completing a first and second review of the Botswana Customs Act.
- Completing a guide and awareness strategy for the new Botswana Customs Act.
- Supporting efforts for project management unit training and business process re-engineering training as part of efforts in behalf of national single windows (NSWs) in Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia
- Assisting in developing a trade information portal in Namibia. The portal is designed to provide comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date information on regulations.
- Organizing change management training courses in Namibia, Malawi, and Botswana to support implementation of national single windows in those countries.
- Establishing Joint Border Committees at border posts in eight countries, resulting in improvements that reduced time spent crossing borders.
- Raising awareness of the benefits of national single windows, resulting in commitments by the governments of Malawi, Botswana, and Namibia to develop single windows
- Helping to install and enhance the Swaziland Revenue Authority’s ASYCUDA++ system, a management system that streamlines and expedites customs clearance.
- Developing and testing, in collaboration with Microsoft, a cloud-based customs connectivity system between Botswana and Namibia.
- Organizing a USAID-WCO Southern Africa Trade Facilitation Conference and coordinating workshops in Namibia and Botswana on self-assessment of WTO-related priorities.