Beitbridge border upgrade: Embracing Customs border modernisation for enhanced trade facilitation and the regional integration agenda in Africa
The emerging realisation of the importance of the worldwide obligations meant to guide and harmoniously influence international trade is somewhat behind the increasing demand for effective trade facilitation by businesses, private sectors, transporters, and traders. Of late, this demand is equally becoming more evident in Africa through its various existing regional trade arrangements or RTAs fronted by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This Trade Brief focuses the discussion on the concept of Customs modernisation and the important complementary role that it can play towards enhancing operational trade facilitation, especially in Africa. Building from this foundation, the focus switches to contextualising the concept by looking at the Beitbridge border upgrade. It identifies, highlights and updates the key Customs modernisation features that may potentially spur regional integration and accelerate the operational trade facilitation agenda in Africa provided proper care is taken. This is done at least for two reasons.
Beitbridge is the busiest Southern African border post in Africa that gives direct entry into SADC, COMESA, ESA Region as well as the entire sub-Saharan Africa from South Africa. It is a border post where a massive modernisation project, in the region or continent where such undertakings are still very few.
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