Building capacity to help Africa trade better

What to do about Sovereignty when Regional Integration is pursued?

Trade Briefs

What to do about Sovereignty when Regional Integration is pursued?

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Regional integration features prominently in the development strategies of most African countries. The current regional integration agenda for East and Southern Africa is ambitious. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states have agreed to a new vision for deeper integration, and as part of SACU’s legal and institutional development, to institutionalize a Summit of Heads of State and Government. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which includes all the SACU member states, is consolidating its Free Trade Area, and the East African Community has started the implementation of its common market, which was launched in mid-2010. The 26 member states of SADC, EAC and COMESA have agreed to establish a Tripartite Free Area; a draft Agreement and 14 Annexes have been prepared, but negotiations have not yet begun.

tralac is preparing a series of Trade Briefs focusing on key issues related to the African integration agenda, focusing specifically on the agenda of member states in East and Southern Africa. This first brief focuses on ‘sovereignty.’ Sovereignty is a characteristic of states, which can exercise their sovereignty by entering into international agreements, such as regional trade agreements. Concerns are often raised about ‘the loss of state sovereignty’ resulting from regional integration. These and other issues are considered.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


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