A Memorandum of Understanding between SADC Secretariat, the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone and USAID/Southern Africa opens the door for the USAID Trade Hub to provide support to SADCвЂ™s goals of increased trade and open borders within Southern Africa.
The agreement, officially signed on February 27, enables the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to draw on technical assistance and capacity building from the USAID Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub (USAID Trade Hub) based in Gaborone, Botswana.
It is aimed at assisting SADC in addressing impediments to trade among SADC member states identified in the midterm review of the implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol.
SADC plans to establish a free trade area in 2008, with 85% of all goods traded between SADC member states at zero percent tariffs, SADCвЂ™s Executive Secretary, Tomaz SalamРіo, said during the signing ceremony.
Ambassador Katherine Canavan responded by reiterating the USвЂ™s commitment to support SADC as it works to improve trade efficiency and economic growth for the people of the SADC region.
Erna Kerst, USAID / Southern Africa Mission Director, signed the agreement on behalf of USAID/Southern Africa.
The USAID Trade Hub is recruiting consultants to carry out the two assignments under the Memorandum: a trade audit of the SADC trade protocol and the establishment of a monitoring unit within the SADC Secretariat to improve the SecretariatвЂ™s capacity to monitor the implementation of the protocol.