Edited by Chris Milner and Robert Read
Chapter 5: Options for Regional Integration in Southern Africa
David Evans* The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) and its successor, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), had strong anti-apartheid political orientations. Initially, economic cooperation was based on a sectoral approach. The Windhoek Treaty of 1992 changed the basis of economic cooperation to allow for ‘eﬃciency, economy and competitiveness’. This shift led to the 1996 SADC Protocol on Trade Cooperation for the creation of a free trade area (FTA) which is now almost complete. Successful regional associations usually require a strong political rationale for economic beneﬁts to be realized.1 It remains to be seen whether or not the original unifying anti-apartheid politics in Southern Africa are strong enough in the post-apartheid era to enable SADC to build the institutions necessary for rules-based economic integration and thus realize the potential economic beneﬁts. In terms of economic conditions, the SADC countries are an extremely heterogeneous group. This can be seen from Table 5.1, which includes those SADC member countries covered in this study. At the time of the Windhoek Treaty, the GDP per capita ranged roughly 20:1 from richest to poorest. In terms of economic size, the range was nearly 100:1. GDP growth performance in the previous 20 years varied considerably, but some SADC countries had a surprisingly good record of economic management in terms of the average rate of inﬂation, poverty reduction and human development.2 An important characteristic of the SADC region is the historically high level of barriers to trade. While there was...
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