Journal of Strategic Intelligence and International Relations

Dounia 4 :
SADC : Deeper Economic Integration and Prequisites

SADC : Deeper Economic Integration and Prequisites

La Communauté des états de l’Afrique australe pour le développement (SADC) est une initiative qui concerne l’un des plus gros potentiels de développement régional socioéconomique sur le continent africain. La problématique de l’intégration économique au sein de cette communauté se pose en termes de rythme de progression, de domaines concernés, d’avantages attendus ou encore de pré-requis. Les enjeux couvrent aussi bien les champs de la sécurité territoriale, la résolution de conflits, l’identité et la souveraineté nationales que les comportements des leaders, en passant par la prise de conscience du caractère stratégique de cette intégration face aux bouleversements géopolitiques récents et à venir. Ce numéro de Dounia, la revue d’intelligence stratégique et des relations internationales, passe en revue plusieurs facettes de l’intégration économique au sein de la SADC et propose une réflexion multidisciplinaire pour mieux comprendre l’évolution et les enjeux du processus.

October 2011

3. Achieving Deeper Integration in Southern Africa: The Case of SADC Customs Union

Adwell Zembele
pages 24-36

Summary | PDF (174.3 kb)

Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa are actively involved in the negotiation of regional integration arrangements where they agree to reduce both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade among themselves. This helps to improve market access for tradable products for participating countries. In SADC, member states launched a Free Trade Area (FTA) in 2008 and wanted to establish a customs union by the end of 2010. However, this process has faced many challenges and the customs union is yet to be established. The current paper, therefore, looked at the existing challenges and opportunities in the establishment of the SADC customs union and provided some policy recommendations on the best way forward. In view of this, various publications were reviewed with the aim of understanding the critical factors that need to be satisfied for the successful deeper integration of the region. Efforts were also made to assess progress made so far and how to proceed in this initiative. The paper establishes that while the process is facing a number of challenges, there are also opportunities that SADC could capitalise on in establishing the customs union. The major challenges include multiple membership, divergent trade policies in member states, complicated rules of origin, poor infrastructure, and poor trade facilitation systems among others. On the other hand, opportunities include lessons from other RECs, existing SADC institutions, and the potential leadership of South Africa. Finally, the paper gives recommendations on what needs to be done to successfully establish the customs union.

Key Words :

Customs union, regional integration, free trade area, multiple membership, and common external tariff.




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