Final Communiqué: The Heads of State and Government Meeting of the Member States of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
Adopted on Thursday, the 22nd April 2010 in Windhoek, Namibia,
- The Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) met in Windhoek, Namibia, on 22 April 2010 to launch the commemoration of SACU’s 100 years of existence, to reflect on the achievements and challenges, as well as to deliberate on the future strategic direction of SACU, in view of recent regional and global developments.
- The meeting was chaired by His Excellency President Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia and was attended by His Majesty, King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland, His Excellency President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa and His Excellency the Right Honourable the Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili of the Kingdom of Lesotho. The meeting was also attended by the former Head of State of the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae, the Executive Secretary of SADC, the Executive Secretary of COMESA and a representative of MERCOSUR.
- The Heads of State and Government recognised the role that SACU can play as a building block for deeper regional integration in Southern Africa.
- The Heads of State and Government adopted a new Vision and Mission for SACU and agreed to translate it into a strategic work programme. The Vision and Mission statement, as endorsed and signed by the Heads of State and Government , read as follows
An economic community with equitable and sustainable development, dedicated to the welfare of its people for a common future.
To serve as an engine for regional integration and development, industrial and economic diversification, the expansion of intra regional trade and investment, and global competitiveness.
- To build economic policy coherence, harmonization and convergence to meet the development needs of the region.
- To promote sustainable economic growth and development for employment creation and poverty reduction.
- To serve as a building block of an ever closer community among the peoples of Southern Africa.
- To develop common policies and strategies for areas such as trade facilitation; effective customs controls; and competition.
- To develop effective, transparent and democratic institutions and processes.
- The Heads of State and Government noted that in order to ensure that SACU remains a viable institution and achieves its new vision; it has to be transformed into a vehicle for regional economic integration capable of promoting equitable development.
- The Heads of State and Government have agreed on the institutionalisation of meetings of Heads of State and Government of SACU.
- The Heads of State and Government also used the occasion to launch the commemoration of the Centenary of the Southern African Customs Union, which was established in 1910.
- The Heads of State and Government agreed that the commemoration marks a great milestone for SACU and signifies the important political, cultural, economic and developmental relationships that exist amongst the five SACU Member States.
- The Heads of State and Government unveiled a plaque at the site of the new SACU Headquarters to be built in Windhoek, Namibia. This is a further indication of their commitment towards the continued existence of SACU as a vibrant regional economic arrangement.
- The Heads of State and Government finally agreed to convene another meeting in July 2010 in South Africa. The meeting will inaugurate the SACU Summit and will be preceded by a meeting of the SACU Council of Ministers.
- The Heads of State and Government expressed their appreciation to the Government and People of the Republic of Namibia for the traditional Namibian hospitality extended in hosting the meeting of SACU Heads of State and Government.
For further information, please contact Mr. Mahlatse Mminele at 076-688-5252.
Issued by the Department International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
28 April 2010