A Facility Support Unit (FSU) has been set up within the SADC Secretariat to facilitate implementation of the SADC Trade Related Facility (TRF), established through a Contribution Agreement between the EU and SADC. Located at the MASA Centre in Gaborone’s Central Business District, the FSU will provide technical support to Member States in implementing their commitments under the SADC Protocol on Trade and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. Operations of the TRF commenced on 5th January 2015:
The TRF, which is a €32 million project is funded under the EU’s 10th EDF, consists of two financing windows:
- The STP Window seeks to ensure a higher level of compliance and implementation of commitments undertaken by SADC Member States under the Protocol on Trade; and
- The EPA Window will facilitate effective implementation and monitoring of the SADC-EU EPA with a view to enhance its potential benefits, particularly in terms of improved market access.
Areas of interventions include customs cooperation and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, industrial development, trade in services, trade promotion and development, trade remedies and trade-related adjustment support.
The support to Member States is in the form of financial incentives paid after achievement of clearly identified milestones and based on a Country Implementation Plan and detailed project activities and related costs. Generally, the TRF will seek to address implementation challenges faced by SADC Member States in their trade and industrial development agenda so as to increase intra-SADC and international trade. It will complement other regional integration programmes such as the Project Preparation and Development Facility (PPDF) and the Regional Economic Integration Support (REIS). The PPDF seeks to bridge gaps in infrastructure provision aimed at improving competitiveness and facilitate regional and international trade, while REIS aims to build regional level capacity to enhance regional economic integration.
The TRF is specifically targeted at national level implementation challenges and constraints, which are identified by Member States themselves through their National Indicative Programmes (NIPs).The projects and programmes to be supported should be coherent with SADC’s integration strategy and Member States’ national development plans, policies and strategies. Indicative nominal allocations have been determined for eligible SADC Member States.Calls for applications will soon be announced and launched on the SADC Website and communicated to all SADC Member States through the National Focal Points for the TRF.
The TRF will be managed under the TIFI Directorate. Its 3 Technical Experts are Charles Chaitezvi as the Team Leader; Paul Kalenga as Technical Expert for the STP Window and Dumisani Mahlinza as Technical Export for the SADC EPA Window. All experts have substantial experience in regional integration in Southern and Eastern Africa. The Finance Officer is Musonda Chiteba while the Project Administrator is Guida Hope.