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Lyndon B. Johnson

Abstract

I am glad to meet with you again and to wish you well at this meeting and in your working sessions throughout this year.

Mr. Joannes Mongardini, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Olivier Basdevant, Mr. Alfredo Cuevas, Mr. Xavier Debrun, Lars Holger Engstrom, Imelda M. Flores Vazquez, Mr. Vitaliy Kramarenko, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Mr. Paul R Masson, and Ms. Genevieve Verdier

Abstract

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is the oldest customs union in the world, with significant opportunities ahead for creating higher economic growth and increased welfare benefits to the people of the region, by fulfilling its vision to become an economic community with a common market and monetary union. This volume describes policy options to address the barriers to equitable and sustainable development in the region and outlines a plan for deeper regional integration.

Joannes Mongardini

Abstract

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. As the oldest customs union in the world, SACU has brought significant benefits to its five member countries, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland (Figure 1.1). The significant degree of trade integration among its member countries has facilitated trade within and outside SACU and thus improved living standards. All members, excluding Botswana, also benefit from the Common Monetary Area (CMA), in which the currencies of Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland are fixed at parity with the South African rand, which is also accepted as legal tender in these countries. Regional and financial integration have improved the welfare of the people of Southern Africa.

Lars Engstrom and Geneviève Verdier

Abstract

Despite being the oldest customs union in the world, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has often been criticized as a trade agreement benefiting its largest and most powerful member, South Africa, and being detrimental to its smaller members by hindering industrialization and inducing trade diversion. This chapter provides empirical evidence supporting the view that SACU has benefited all of its members and has outperformed other trade arrangements in Africa.

Alfredo Cuevas, Lars Engstrom, Vitaliy Kramarenko, and Geneviève Verdier