Border Closure, worries SACBTA Secretary General Jacob Makambwe
By Ashton Kelly Bunda and Derrick Sinjela
SOUTHERN Africa Cross Border Traders Association (SACBTA) – Zambia Secretary General Jacob Makambwe says the continued closure of borders in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region applied to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid 19) is adversely affecting regional integration and entrepreneurship.
A worried Mr. Makambwe says the regional integration agenda adopted to harmonize regional policies and increase regional trade is being hampered by border closure by SADC Member States.
Makambwe says as the countries remain reluctant to open trading spaces for Small Scale Traders (SST’s) the travel lockdown will affect implementation of regional integration agenda.
Makambwe says the ongoing border closure will have particular negative consequences for traders as none will earn income for a considerable long time.
The SACBTA – Zambia Secretary General has told Kwilanzi Newspaper Zambia Limited that the indefinite closure has increased the cost of doing business for Small Scale Traders, and ultimately traders had hiked prices of merchandise.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a Regional Economic Community comprising 16 Member States; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Established in 1992, SADC is committed to Regional Integration and poverty eradication within Southern Africa through economic development and ensuring peace and security.