On Tuesday this week senior staff of the Southern Development Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, government officials, and representatives from regional and international organisations including the United States Embassy, USAID and the USAID/Southern Africa Trade Hub gathered at the SADC secretariat for a ceremony to celebrate the hand- over of the recently completed Regional Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Strategies for Food Safety, Plant and Animal Health.
The event marked the celebrated 12 months of cooperation between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the SADC secretariat’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary programme. The results of this collaboration is to ensure that consumers are being supplied with food products which are safe to eat, plants and animals protected from plants pests and animal diseases and at the same time improving safe regional and international trade.
The Regional SPS Strategies will strengthen the SADC’s fifteen Member States to effectively manage sanitary and phytosanitary risks through implementing SPS measures that are consistent with international standards and best practices. The SPS strategies apply to all measures that may, directly, affect trade between the Member States.
In his delivery speech US Ambassador Earl Miller said there was a need to build an economically competitive SADC region integrated effectively with the global trading system under the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The US government believes improving SPS strategies will lead to increased trade flows in Southern Africa; promoting economic growth, creating jobs, and increasing the standard of living for hard working people across the region from the smallholder farmers who grow for the local market to the agribusiness producing food for export; from the truck drivers who ferry goods across borders to the traders and retailers who deliver products to consumers.
The project has been a collaborative effort by the 15 member states. It draws heavily on the commitment and expertise of SADC member states to meet the requirements of the WTO SPS Agreement and the SADC SPS Annex.
The actual drafting of the strategy was a multi- step, participatory process. They worked closely with TIFI and FABR, the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub engaged regional experts in food safety, plant health and animal health, culminating in a first SPS strategy draft. This draft was then reviewed and vetted during a critical stakeholder’s workshop, held in Johannesburg in February 2015 and attended by more than 100 SADC delegates from the 15 member states.
Based on the feedback received from the delegates, the current SPS strategies were finalised and translated. It is critical to note that the SPS strategy is not a ‘one size fit all’ document but outcome focused and contextualized for the needs of each member state.
The SADC secretariat will oversee the implementation of the Regional SPS strategies within the framework of its regional SPS capacity building programms and will endevour to mobilise resources for this purpose in collaboration with SADC Member States.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.