SADC moves to end non-tariff barriers to trade

22Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
SADC moves to end non-tariff barriers to trade

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said yesterday that the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is set to establish a framework to oversee harmonization of standards, policies, laws and regulation within the trading bloc.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Prof Palamagamba Kabudi briefs media owners, heads of media houses and reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday whom he congratulated for their good performance during the 39th Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit which ended over the weekend. Others (R-L) are organizing committee chairperson Agnes Kayola, Deputy Minister Dr Damas Ndumbaro and Media Owners representative Richard Mngazija. Photo: John Badi

Prof Kabudi  made this observation  at a packed press conference involving editors  from different media outlets.

The minister who is the new chairman for the SADC Council of Ministers said the framework will also help to address non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and eventually bolster intra-regional trade, which currently stands at below 20 per cent.

He said that the 16-member state bloc recognizes that harmonization of various procedures is pivotal in curbing the NTBs.

He further said that since the government had played its part, entrepreneurs should not put their dreams on hold but should instead clear the path toward not only by innovation but also exporting their goods and services.

The SADC region with a combined population of 370 million and a GDP of 607 billion US dollars provides huge potential for investment that would translate into accelerated socioeconomic development.

Commenting on Kiswahili adoption as the SADC fourth official language, Prof Kabudi said it wasn’t a simple job to convince the members, "but we made it."

“We’ll ensure within a year of our leadership we handle the challenge,” he said, calling on Tanzanian entrepreneurs and business community to grab opportunities to sell goods and services to, and teach Kiswahili in SADC member countries as opportunities won’t be delivered on a silver platter.

He was optimistic that Kiswahili teachers would also apply for posts in other member countries and not wait for the government to give them such opportunities.

Kiswahili was adopted as the fourth official medium of communication within the region during the just ended SADC summit. Other languages are English, Portuguese and French.

Kiswahili is an official language of the African Union and the lingua franca in most of East Africa and parts of central and southern Africa.

The Bantu language is spoken in Tanzania, Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Mayotte, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, UAE and the USA. It is estimated that over 100 million people speak it as either native or second language.

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