Building on the achievements recorded and lessons learned in the area of IT connectivity by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) in the context of the WCO-SACU Connect project funded by Sweden, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat held a joint meeting of SADC Heads of Customs. The aim of the meeting was to explore the possibility of entering into an SADC-wide regional project to establish IT connectivity and facilitate data exchange based on the WCO’s Globally Networked Customs (GNC) concept and Data Model.
The meeting took place on 23 and 24 October 2018 in Harare, Zimbabwe and brought together 11 SADC countries (Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
Over the course of these two days, delegates discussed the proposed project’s scope, identified its intended results and activities and agreed on its governance structure. It was decided that the proposed project will focus its efforts on developing the SADC Regional IT Connectivity Blueprint and Framework as well as on rolling out the Framework thus developed across key SADC corridors, including the North-South Corridor.
The Heads of Customs of the SADC region have also asked the WCO to engage with the donor community so as to mobilize the funding required for implementing the proposed project.