Regional Integration in Southern Africa Volume 1 South Africa's International Trade Diplomacy

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A study conducted for the Friederich Ebert Foundation

Regional integration can be a key force for sustainable development. It can promote economic growth, reduce poverty, foster social development or protect the environment. But it can also have negative economic and social impacts, especially when the domestic regulatory framework is inadequate or not implemented effectively.

RegionalIntegrationInSouthernAfricaVol1.pdf[735.5 KB]

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is committed to deepening the integration processes amongst its members. It has therefore adopted the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) to provide strategic direction in the formulation of SADC programmes which aim to:

  • achieve development and economic growth,
  • alleviate poverty,
  • enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa and
  • support the socially disadvantaged,

through regional integration.

Amongst the various measures governments can implement to further such integration, ensuring sound macroeconomic management is vital. Given the commitment to deepening SADC integration through macroeconomic policies, it is important that policy makers in SADC and its Member States assess the impacts that such measures will have on the social well-being of its people, both in the short and the long term.

In view of the above, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, through its office in Botswana and in close consultation with the Planning Unit of the SADC Secretariat, initiated a regional research programme on Deepening Integration in SADC – Macroeconomic Policies and their Impact.

The programme was designed as a collective effort of the leading economic research institutions of the region. 14 institutes from 11 SADC member countries joined the programme.

Phase 1 began at the country level, with a comprehensive study on the present status of the economies, their congruence with SADC convergence targets, the respective policy frameworks, as well as a social impact analysis. This more theoretical desk study was complemented by an empirical survey of the perceptions of businesses and non-state actors vis-à-vis SADC. A study on South Africa’s international trade diplomacy and its implications for regional integration was to give a contextual perspective.

To make the results of this research programme known to a broader public, especially among the relevant policy- and decision-makers of the SADC region, a series of volumes entitled Regional Integration in Southern Africa will be published. This first volume contains the findings of the contextual study by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), both from South Africa.

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RegionalIntegrationInSouthernAfricaVol1.pdf735.5 KB