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

9. National Identity and the Question of Sovereignty in the SADC Regional Bloc: Rhetoric, Experiences and the way forward

Innocent Chirisa
pages 114-124

Summary | PDF (136.2 kb)

This article attempts to unravel some of the processes and paradigms in the direction of regional integration by SADC countries, putting sovereignty and rhetoric as key variables in the discourse. Regional integration is a highly political process which involves the association of nations in a regional bloc to determine their affairs economically, socially, and politically, in a collaborative manner. Efforts to promote and achieve regional integration in SADC have been underway, over the thirty years of the regional bloc’s existence. Yet little progress has been registered. A number of these countries still put national sovereignty and the politics of patriotism ahead of regionalism, a factor which explains the state of affairs being here discussed. In general terms rhetoric is attained through persuasion, logic and the transfer of meaning by the communicator to the recipient of a message. For Africa, independence from the shackles of colonialism was one way through which sovereignty for nations was asserted. For more than five decades, Africa in general, has had a thrust to form highly supra-regional blocs, sometimes under the flagship of the philosophy called pan-Africanism. The rhetoric of the times has been the chief driver in this movement. In this conundrum and euphoria, SADC was also born. It must be underlined that SADC since its birth covered considerable ground in trying to reduce the dependency on the western and eastern countries. But inequities created by colonialism explain some of the deep challenges facing countries in the region. The states must find a clear path of tackling their constraints to economic empowerment, balancing between sovereign ambitions against those of the region. It is high time SADC country leaders move towards strategic visioning backed by appropriate targeting.

Key words: Rhetoric; Sovereighty; Regionalism; Infrastructure; Strategic visioning; SADC.




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