Historical imbalances haunt SACU’s combined industrialisation bid

On the table: The long awaited Leather Park is one of the projects Botswana has put forward in the SACU investment initiative. The Botswana Meat Commission is expected to play a major role in the project PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
On the table: The long awaited Leather Park is one of the projects Botswana has put forward in the SACU investment initiative. The Botswana Meat Commission is expected to play a major role in the project PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The five member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) recently launched a joint investment bid aimed at boosting industrialisation in the region. While hardly mentioned in the official discussions, leaders will be hoping the new initiative eases historic imbalances in the region. Staff Writer, MBONGENI MGUNI reports

Whenever the issue of regional industrialisation is discussed at SACU level, the elephant in the room is the domination of Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini by South Africa.

Critics of SACU, which is the world’s oldest customs union, say to some extent, it has allowed this imbalance, with South Africa benefiting the most from the union’s position itself as a common bloc for trade with the world.

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