01 March 2024

Meeting Of The SACU Task Team On Regional Integration - Opening Remarks By The Chairperson Of The SACU Task Team, Mr. D.E Masilela, Principal Secretary, Ministry Of Finance, Swaziland

Windhoek, Namibia, 3 July 2007

Madam Executive Secretary,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to welcome you to the 2nd meeting of the SACU Task Team on Regional Integration. This is my first meeting as a Chair of the Task Team and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Namibia for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for this meeting.

At the outset, I would like to underscore the importance of Regional Integration and its linkages to economic growth and development. Regional Integration should result in expanded market opportunities, increased trade, and overall improvement in welfare. In order to achieve these objectives, it is important that we develop a comprehensive strategy for cooperation amongst ourselves as well as with our neighbours. This Task Team therefore is expected to develop a Strategy that defines our role and relationship with other Regional Economic Communities. As you are aware, this matter is also receiving attention at the African Union meetings in Accra, Ghana.

Since the first meeting of the Task Team in Walvisbay, Namibia on the 31 March 2007, I note that there has been progress in the implementation of the Road map for the work of the Task Team.

As you are aware, at the 10th Council meeting held in Pigss Peak, Swaziland, in April 2007, Council approved the Terms of Reference for the Task Team on Regional Integration; the Terms of Reference for the analytical studies on (i) the Consolidation of SACU (ii) and the impact assessment of the SADC Integration Programme on SACU Member States; and the Roadmap for the SACU Task Team on Regional Integration.

Council has directed the Task Team to develop a SACU wide Strategy and to position the organisation to respond to regional and global developments. It is my wish that this meeting will deliberate on the work done so far on the development of a SACU wide strategy and make recommendations.

In closing, I would like to thank the Executive Secretary and her team for organising this important meeting and do hope that we can make some progress in defining the processes as it relates to our ongoing work and for the development of the SACU Wide Strategy. Finally it is my view that the work of the Task Team has to be given priority in the overall SACU Programme, especially given that it is this Task Team which is charged with the responsibility for providing the strategic guidance on topical issues to Council.

I thank you