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Lesotho Implements Coordinated Border Management Strategy to Boost Trade Efficiency

The Kingdom of Lesotho has taken significant steps to streamline its border operations, aiming to enhance trade efficiency and reduce delays. 

Recently, the nation validated the draft Coordinated Border Management (CBM) National Strategy, indicating its dedication to eliminating redundancies, improving controls, and facilitating smooth cross-border trade.

The validation of the CBM strategy took place during a workshop held in Maseru, Lesotho, from 26th to 27th February 2024. Supported by technical assistance from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, under the European Union (EU) funded SADC Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), Lesotho’s efforts align with regional initiatives aimed at fostering economic growth through improved trade facilitation.

Mr. Alcides Monteiro, Senior Programme Officer – Customs at the SADC Secretariat, commended Lesotho for joining other member states in implementing the CBM concept. 

This strategy, which follows the protocols of the SADC, World Customs Organisation, and the World Trade Organisation, is crucial for enhancing regional and global trade facilitation.

Ms. Malineo Seboholi, Chairperson of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), emphasized the significance of trade facilitation for Lesotho’s developmental goals as a landlocked country. 

She underscored CBM as a key enabler in Lesotho’s National Trade Facilitation Roadmap, designed to accelerate seamless trade delivery to the private sector.

The CBM approach aims to harmonize, predict, and simplify border operations, benefiting both government agencies and private sector stakeholders involved in cross-border trade. 

During the workshop, stakeholders from various sectors evaluated the draft CBM strategy, identified gaps, and provided recommendations for its implementation.

Key outcomes of the workshop included the need to develop a border management policy, formalize the appointment of a lead agency to coordinate CBM activities, maintain statistics on border operations, and mobilize financial resources for CBM implementation.

Additional source: SADC Secretariat

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