Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa Yearbook 2010


Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa Yearbook 2010

Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa Yearbook 2010

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The Monitoring Regional Integration Yearbook 2010 marks the tenth edition of this publication. This monitoring exercise, ten years on, is no less relevant than it was at the project’s inception. Although there have been significant regional developments during the past decade, many challenges still remain. During the past decade developments in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have been reviewed. Given the significant overlap of membership among the regional economic communities in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), reference in recent years to developments in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC) have also featured in the yearbook.

The SADC Trade Protocol was signed by member states in 1996, and implementation began in 2000. The Trade Protocol provides a framework for SADC’s trade integration programme, emphasising the establishment of a free trade area as a key objective. In 2003, an implementation strategy for SADC’s trade integration was agreed by member states. This Regional Indicative Strategic Development Programme (RISDP) provided important milestones for SADC to establish a free trade area by 2008, a customs union by 2010, a common market in 2015, a monetary union in 2016 and a common currency in 2018. This very ambitious integration agenda follows the linear textbook model of regional integration. As at 2010, the free trade area has not been fully implemented and the goal of establishing a customs union by 2010 has not been met. The establishment of SADC customs union, however, remains on the agenda albeit without a definite time line at this stage. Is this linear textbook model appropriate for addressing the development challenges of the Southern African region? This and many related questions have been raised in the yearbook during the past decade.

This 2010 yearbook reminds us that regional integration is multifaceted, covering not only trade and market integration, but also peace and security, geography, and related matters. It is essential that countries in Southern Africa take a step back to reflect on the broad dimensions of development and the kind of regional integration agenda that will assist countries to promote not only intraregional trade, but also competitiveness and development.

© 2011 Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Publication of this book was made possible by the support of the Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (tralac) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The views expressed by the authors are not necessarily the view of any of these institutions.

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