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Tribute: Ambassador Tswelopele Cornelia (Connie) Moremi

Tribute: Ambassador Tswelopele Cornelia (Connie) Moremi
Photo credit: Embassy of Botswana in Germany

27 Mar 2018

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Ambassador Tswelopele Cornelia (Connie) Moremi, the founding Executive Secretary (ES) of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Following her two terms as SACU’s Executive Secretary, Ambassador Moremi served as Botswana’s first resident Ambassador in Germany.

Before her appointment to the SACU Secretariat, Ambassador Moremi served her country, Botswana, with distinction in various public service positions. Amongst other senior roles, she served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Chief Policy Advisor to the Ministry. She led the initiative to restructure this Ministry to establish the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.

It was in her capacity as Executive Secretary of SACU that we were privileged to get to know Connie. Her task as the founding ES of the oldest functioning customs union in the world, required strategic leadership. Member States had concluded a new SACU Agreement in 2002, and it entered into force in July 2004. This Agreement provided for a new legal and institutional architecture for the customs union. Connie played a pivotal role in shaping this institutional architecture; and specifically in establishing a functional Secretariat to support the vision of the Member States for the customs union in the 21st century.

Connie’s experience in Botswana had provided her with keen insights into the dynamics of African integration in the 21st century, and the challenges that Member States as diverse as South Africa and Lesotho, face as they work to support their development aspirations in an increasingly integrated sub-region.

The tralac team got to know Connie and to engage with her, on policy and especially international trade law matters, over the decade of her tenure as ES. Connie served our region with commitment and dignity. It’s a great honour to record our appreciation for the role she played and for the privilege of knowing her. We will miss her.

tralac team

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