Botswana on Tuesday launched the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Related Facility programme. The SADC Related Trade Facility is a mechanism devised by SADC and the European Union to provide financial aid and technical support to SADC member states. This is aimed at enabling them to implement commitments made under the SADC protocol on Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and SADC member states.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo explained that the main objective of the trade facility is to ease international trade administration, competition policy issues, custom administration as well as to address technical barriers to trade and trade development through electronic commerce.
She said for Botswana, at least €2,600,000 has been availed to implement various interventions. One of the projects to be funded under the SADC trade-related facility programme by Botswana is the development of the e-commerce strategy.
According to Minister Kenewendo, in these economic hard times, a programme like the SADC Trade Related Facility, whose overall objective is to achieve a high level of compliance and implementation of the EPA is a welcome development.
“The programme was initially planned to be completed at the end of September 2019. We are delighted that the programme has been extended by a further two years from October 2019 up to September 2021 to allow us to complete implementing all our activities,” she said.