Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa Yearbook 2009
During 2009 several important developments highlighted specific challenges for policy makers in Southern Africa. The global economic crisis continued to impact on the region in 2009, and as the fall out of the crisis in the euro region manifests, it is clear that the open economies of southern Africa will not be isolated from these events.
In June 2009 Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland signed the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) with the European Union (EU), while Angola, Namibia and South Africa chose not to sign. South Africa in particular raised concerns about its future membership of SACU should the three member states implement the IEPA. This has generated an intense debate about the future of SACU. The demise of SACU would bring more problems than this could solve. The smaller countries rely heavily on the revenue from the SACU revenue pool, and with very few options for raising government revenue are extremely vulnerable, should South Africa withdraw from SACU. This is however not to suggest that it should be business as usual for the future of SACU. SACU presents many challenges that other regional economic communities face too. While a review of the revenue sharing arrangement and indeed also other provisions of the 2002 SACU Agreement may well be necessary, there are other challenges too.
Implementation challenges continue to bedevil regional integration in Southern Africa and elsewhere on the continent. In the case of the 2002 SACU Agreement, key institutions provided for in the Agreement, including the Tariff Board and Tribunal, have not been established. Further, common policy development in key areas such as agriculture and industrial development has made very little progress. Without effective implementation the potential benefits of such agreements will not be realized.
South Africa’s April general election was followed by changes to Cabinet and the establishment of a new Government Department, the Department of Economic Development (DED) that has direct implications for regional integration. The relationship between this Department and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is important. DED will be responsible for the oversight function for the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) which currently serves as SACU’s Tariff Board, as well as the Competition Commission, and the Industrial Development Corporation.
Namibia which has chosen, along with South Africa and Angola, not to sign the Interim EPA with the EU, held Presidential and National Assembly elections in November 2009. Although nine opposition parties have taken a petition to the High Court (and in the meantime to the Supreme Court) of Namibia contesting the results of these elections (the case is still pending), the Chief Justice has already sworn in the President, the new members of Parliament and the newly appointed Ministers.
With regard to Peace and Security significant developments took place in SADC in 2009. In order to more effectively deal with human and societal security in the region, especially in respect of human trafficking, money laundering and transnational crime, SADC strengthened the nascent security community. The most significant developments have been the formal recognition of the “Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation” (SARCPCCO), which also co-operates with Interpol, as a SADC institution. Moreover, SADC also recognized the Harare-based SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) as a constitutive institution. The RPTC is now part of a SADC structure falling under the Directorate of Politics, Defence and Security of the Organ and has emerged as regionally recognized Centre of Excellence in Peacekeeping and Peace Support training. The RPTC provides and coordinates all training in the region for SADC and multi-national peacekeeping missions as mandated by the regional body.
Following an earlier resolution of the 2006 SADC Summit, SADC also decided to conduct a strategic review of the SADC Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO). The review is expected to be tabled at the 2010 SADC Summit in Windhoek, Namibia.
This book was launched in Windhoek on 13 August 2010.
© 2009 Trade Law Centre and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
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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