The Southern African Customs Union is the oldest customs union in the world;SACU plays a key role in Southern Africa, particularly for smaller member states who are (somewhat) dependent on SACU revenue. The recent turmoil in Swaziland, for example, is partly as a result of a dramatic drop in SACU revenue. Find out more here and here.
having been established in 1910. It consists of five Member States: Botswana,
Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
SACU has released a new paper explaining what they are and what they do:
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Clippings from Southern African news:
- 129 cases of Typhoid recorded in Kabwe, Zambia in a week
- US$1.8 million to strengthen the capacity of Angolan NGOs to fight malaria in the country (in a somewhat garbled story that doesn't seem to identify the donors, unless I'm missing something. Although there is a passing reference to a certain oil company...)
- Botswana's president had an unfortunate encounter with a cheetah
- Zambia is getting it's first DNA lab
- Joyce Banda visited Zim and, according to the Herald, hailed Zimbabwe for its land reform programme and economic empowerment initiatives it is implementing saying they had uplifted the livelihoods of the majority". Really, Madam President?
- BP to invest US$87 million in Mozambique over the next five years (and R4.7bn in South Africa)
- The bottled water scandal that hit Zimbabwe last year has resurfaced, this time in Botswana where Zim water bottlers' produces are apparently being sold
- Madagascar's former president, Didier Ratsirakawill (ousted 2002) will be contesting the country's presidential elections in July. Also, the former first lady, wife of Marc Ravalomanana (ousted 2009). What could possibly go wrong?
In South Africa, meanwhile, the ruling party, the military, the foreign affairs department and a whole lot of journalists are trying to figure out how permission was obtained for a private charter flight bringing guests to the wedding of a particularly wealthy (and possibly not squeaky clean) family was allowed to land at a major airforce base. The defense force this morning denied that they would ever give permission for this (raising concerning questions about whether someone just forgot to check the papers of the Boeing 737) but later added to the general confusion by changing their tune.
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
The Herald is reporting that Chiefs and village leaders are appealing to the Government of Zimbabwe to take urgent action to address the severe food shortages in Masvingo where drought last year wiped out 80% of the maize crop. Warning signs emerged months ago that this would be a particularly bad year for the area and would likely push thousands into crisis. 400,000 people are now in urgent need of food assistance.
Chief Gutu, Mr Amon Masanganise, said last week that villagers in his area were now flocking to his homestead daily in search of food.
"This farming season was very bad for most of communal farmers in my area," he said. "Crops wilted due to a prolonged dry spell and villagers are now coming to my homestead daily seeking food aid, but I have nothing to offer them.
"We are appealing to President Mugabe to help us before the situation worsens."