Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa Yearbook 2006
Regional Integration in general is considered as an important theoretical paradigm for and successful practical instrument of economic growth and development. Particularly in Southern Africa with its comparatively small economies, regional integration can play a crucial role in the pursuit of common strategic interests for the successful economic development of the involved countries.
Regional Integration, however, requires political will, the understanding of politicians of the necessity to pass relevant national legislation and the decision to implement respective strategies. The political discourse will naturally deliberate on the expectations for economic growth and the consequences of partly renouncing national sovereignty. The dynamics of such national discourses and the political will to regional integration are unpredictable with repercussions for the course of and striving for regional integration.
In addition, the discourse on regional integration is no end in itself, but a means to an end. In the centre of all attention on regional integration must be the human being, the living standards of people and their social cohesion. The subject, however, will not primarily be the citizen of a particular nation but the people of the whole region.
Hence regional integration emerges as a multilayered challenge for experts, politicians and finally to the people involved in a region. They must all be informed about the ongoing process, and must be involved in the deliberations and in the decision-making processes.
The European Union, now comprising 27 vastly different (not only economically) member states, is proof that the efforts of investing in regional integration pay dividends, economically, socially, and politically.
This book was launched on 26 February 2007. Read the speech by the Honourable Member of Parliament and Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, Benedict Martins.
© 2006 Trade Law Centre, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit
Publication of this book was made possible by the support of the Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (tralac), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU). The views expressed by the authors are not necessarily the view of any of these institutions.
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