Summary of chapters
Chapter 2, “The theory and discourse of developmental regionalism”, by Said Adejumobi and Zebulun Kreiter, interrogates the notion of developmental regionalism, its features and elements, and how it relates to the Southern Africa region. The notion of developmental regionalism provides an analytical tool for understanding and measuring the nature, quality and content of a regional integration project and its developmental possibilities and outcome. The chapter argues that the notion of developmental regionalism has witnessed twists and turns based on the changing dynamics of the global political economy and its dominant ideology. This has ranged from the structuralist to the neo-liberal orthodoxy and now to the post-neo-liberal era. Based on this, it provides a conceptual working definition of the concept of developmental regionalism that captures the development imperatives of a regional integration project, failure of which the project will wither away. The chapter reviews the benefits and arguments for developmental regionalism, its theoretical perspectives and identifies seven main features of developmental regionalism. These features may provide the parameters by which regional institutions may benchmark their progress and by which it promotes equitable regional development for the key institutional stakeholders involved in the integration project.
Chapter 3, “The Tripartite Free Trade Area and African Continental Free Trade Area: the case for consolidation”, by David Luke and Zodwa Mabuza, discusses the two most ambitious attempts at creating free areas in Africa and perhaps in the world. These are the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) involving three regional economic communities—the SADC, COMESA and the EAC—with a population of 632 million and a combined GDP of US$1.3 trillion, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with a market of 1.2 billion people and a continental GDP of USS2.3 trillion. The former was signed in in June 2015 and the latter in March 2018. June 2015 marked two significant events in the economic integration of the African continent. The TFTA agreement, bringing together 26 member and partner states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the SADC, was signed by the Third Tripartite Summit on 10 June 2015 in the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Five days after the signing of the TFTA, on 15 June 2015, the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government launched negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), subsequently renamed African Continental Free Trade Area, in Johannesburg, South Africa. These negotiations were to encompass 54 AU member states (this number became 55 after Morocco rejoined the AU in 2017) and it was launched and signed by 44 member states in March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The chapter reviews the salient provisions in the TFTA and AfCFTA agreements and argues that quite a number of elements are duplicated in the two agreements and as such, a road map for an effective transition of all the FTAs on the continent into the AfCFTA is urgently required.
Chapter 4, “Monetary union in Southern Africa: is the SADC ready?”, by Chrispin Mphuka, Mzwanele Mfunwa, Obrian Ndhlovu and Peter Chikwe- kwete, examines the feasibility of establishing a monetary union in the SADC region and the comparative experiences from elsewhere. Using macroeconomic data, the chapter runs some tests to ascertain whether SADC is ready for currency convertibility leading to a monetary union (MU). The SADC region has decided to move towards an MU after concluding that the net benefits of such a union will be positive and that this move will advance the continental economic integration agenda. However, the findings of the chapter indicate that an SADC MU is not feasible based on current timelines. First, the initial conditions supporting the MU do not exist. Second, the diverse nature of economies is such that the benefits and costs of an MU will not spread equitably among member states. The core-versus-periphery divide among the EU member countries is a telling example in this regard. Furthermore, the deep cleavage between the leadership utterances in support of the MU and the slow progress in the implementation of key protocols to advance the MU agenda points to deep political concerns about who will benefit and who will lose from such a union. The chapter counsels realism in moving forward, including setting more realistic timelines, striving to overcome the hurdles towards deeper intraregional trade and agreeing on economic targets and milestones that take into account the countries’ state of development, affordability' and capacity limitations. A revised MU agenda along these lines will be more politically suitable than is the case currently.
Chapter 5, “Industrialisation in Southern Africa: towards a developmental and strategic perspective”, by' Theresa Moyo, examines the priority strategies and actions that are necessary' at both regional and country levels in order to achieve transformational, inclusive and sustainable industrialisation outcomes in Southern Africa. In line with the continental developmental agenda, industrialisation in Southern Africa is one of the priority issues which member states of the SADC are advancing. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015—2063 is one of the indicators that the region is committed to that agenda. An action plan for the implementation of the roadmap has been developed and approved. Driven by concerns over low rates of economic growth, unemployment and poverty as well as the vulnerability of the region to external shocks, industrialisation is widely viewed as an important strategy which has a potential to achieve those developmental goals. Recognising that a lot of work has already been done in terms of developing the strategic framework for industrialisation, the chapter raises critical questions on how can the SADC s industrialisation process generate developmental outcomes? How can it accelerate the process of industrialization especially the promotion of manufacturing production and regional value chains in the region? What are the strategic priorities that should be focused upon? And how can the regions industrialisation agenda be a catalyst for its economic transformation?
Chapter 6, “Agriculture and developmental regionalism in Southern Africa”, by Rhoda Mofya-Mukuka and Brian Chisanga, examines the contribution of agriculture to the promotion of developmental regionalism in Southern Africa, including its benefits and opportunities. The chapter also reviews regional policies and programmes aimed at developing the agricultural sector, their net results and outcomes. It also analyses whether agricultural development is in fact taking place in Southern Africa and identifies pathways for agricultural development in the SADC region. Agriculture contributes significantly to the economies of SADC member states. As such, enhanced trade in agricultural products potentially provides a tool for fighting poverty, promoting regional integration and increasing economic growth and welfare. Furthermore, agricultural exports are a major foreign exchange earner, contributing on average 13 percent to total export earnings. However, growth in the agricultural sector is constrained by low productivity in crops and livestock. Limited agricultural development entails a low production base in individual SADC countries that further limits the scope of developmental regionalism because essentially countries have inadequate outputs of commodities and lack the diversity necessary for trade and regionalism to flourish. Southern Africa has performed dismally in agricultural trade as shown by the low level of intraregional trade and deficit trade balance in agriculture. The Southern Africa region is a net importer of cereals and livestock products. Additionally agricultural trade in the region remains highly constrained by a number of factors such as low productivity, poor infrastructure, low investments in research and development and weak institutions, among others. As such, the region is performing far below its capacity and potentials in agricultural production. The chapter therefore makes key policy recommendations in upscaling agricultural productivity in the region.
Chapter 7, “Women in the informal sector in Southern Africa: towards a developmental perspective”, by Annie Barbara Chikwanha examines womens economic encounters in cross-border trade, agriculture, artisanal mining and other sectors of economic life and the limited opportunities and inequity they experience in their daily lives. The questions posed by the chapter include, how can the region pursue developmental regionalism that is inclusive of women? Do COMESA and the SADC’s poverty eradication strategies, trade and investment policies facilitate women’s roles in the formal and informal sectors? Considering that informal traders and agriculturists are mostly women, are the region’s overall development policies in these sectors gender sensitive and gender responsive? These questions can be answered partly by interrogating what is the current scope of regional integration in relation to women’s needs and how can this be part of a coherent developmental regionalism agenda in Southern Africa. Overall, the entire African region possesses the institutional frameworks required for steering the shift towards a paradigm of developmental regionalism, but lacks clear strategies for implementation. The same can be said about initiatives to reduce the gender gap in all the countries; there are many provisions on gender parity yet most African countries struggle to translate these into action and empower women to contribute meaningfully to economic development. The chapter proffers key policy recommendations on how this issue can be addressed.
Chapter 8, “Immigration, xenophobia and developmental regionalism in Southern Africa: a South Africa case study”, by Andre Mbata Mangu, reflects on the interface between immigration, xenophobia, and developmental regionalism in Southern African with a focus on South Africa, which is reportedly home to the largest number of migrants and where xenophobic sentiments appear to be stronger than in any other country in the region. It first revisits the concepts of regional integration and developmental regionalism. It then examines the Protocol on the Facilitation of Free Movement of Persons adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the SADC in 2005 as a legal framework to promote regional integration. Finally, it examines the myths or perceptions and realities of migration and xenophobia in South Africa. Regional integration, which requires the promotion of human rights such as the right to freedom of movement or establishment and is at the heart of developmental regionalism, is the primary aim of the African Union and its eight regional economic communities. It would be meaningless if it was not to achieve development as its ultimate objective. Unfortunately, regional integration has been moving at a slow pace and regionalism has so far gone without development in Africa in general, and in Southern Africa in particular. Among the main challenges confronting regional integration in Africa is the lack of a strong political will to promote freedom of movement and combat xenophobia, which is inimical to immigration since this hostility is directed at foreigners, whether voluntary or forced migrants like asylum seekers and refugees who are generally perceived as a danger or threat to the community rather than an asset, with opportunities of supporting the development of their host country. The chapter provides evidence that contrary to what its name presupposes, the SADC is still far from being a “community”, let alone a “development community”. It contends that the SADC would fail to achieve this objective of becoming an integrated region if the people cannot enjoy freedom of movement and are considered to be “foreigners” once they are outside their national borders in the region. Also, if countries continue to espouse anti-migration and xenophobic sentiments, then the objective of an integrated region will be elusive. More than a decade after its adoption, the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Free Movement has not as yet received the minimum number of ratifications required for it to come into operation. Regional integration or developmental regionalism requires all SADC member states to urgently ratify and implement the protocol on freedom of movement and enforce a zero tolerance policy on xenophobia. South Africa as a regional leader has an important role to play in the process of regional integration or developmental regionalism in Southern Africa and must not only accommodate but protect and encourage other regional citizens to live in the country.
Chapter 9, “ECOWAS’s experience in developmental regionalism: a comparative perspective”, by Dauda Garuba examines the comparative experience of ECOWAS in economic and political integration and its lessons for the SADC. The chapter argues that both institutions, though relatively different in their origin and evolution, have no less confronted similar challenges, which include that of peace and security, and also economic development. The challenge of conflict in Lesotho and DRC were litmus tests for the SADC, just like ECOWAS was confronted in the 1990s with the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone and more recently in Mali and Cote d’Ivoire. While ECOWAS seems to have developed a very robust mechanism in handling those issues, and addressed the challenges of democracy and good governance in West Africa, especially issues around elections and political transition as demonstrated recently in The Gambia, the SADC has also performed fairly well in managing some of those conflicts in Southern Africa, although less successfully than ECOWAS. The two institutions have made very limited progress in terms of the economic development of their regions. The issues of meeting the economic convergence principles, creating regional value chains and promoting even economic development remains a mirage in the regional blocs. While ECOWAS has developed a very good inward looking funding formulae to run the organization through the community levy on all imports entering West Africa, the SADC is still not able to fund itself to a high degree and hence, a heavy reliance on donor funding to promote its activities. Institutional capacitation and self-reliant regional development cannot take place with a high dosage of external funding. A major lesson for the SADC therefore is about developing robust institutional structures and funding mechanisms for carrying out its activities and conducting its development agenda in a sustainable manner.
Chapter 10, “Harnessing south-south cooperation: a BRICS perspective on regional developmentalism”, by Fantu Cheru reflects on the experience of BRICS countries in promoting south-south cooperation and facilitating developmental regionalism in Southern Africa. Over the past decade, African governments have scaled up their economic diplomacy towards the so-called BRICS countries in order to strengthen their economic ties and secure critical finance for regional infrastructure development. This is particularly true in Southern Africa where development corridors have been the centrepiece of the SADC. While BRICS countries can indeed play a role as a source of finance for regional development in infrastructure, this will all depend on the success of SADC member states individually and collectively in putting in place the necessary enabling policy conditions that will allow private flows from the BRICS countries. As BRICS countries move into the mainstream of international development cooperation, they are demanding the same policy conditions that the traditional Western donors impose in the conduct of international trade and investment. For Southern African countries to gain the most from their relationship with the BRICS, they must do their homework in order to negotiate from a position of strength. The chapter cautions against any misplaced optimism that the BRICS will be the catalyst for economic transformation in Southern Africa.
Chapter 11, “Towards sustainable developmental regionalism and peace in Southern Africa”, by Cyril Obi provides a broad overview of the challenges of developmental regionalism and peace in Southern Africa. It offers a critical analysis of the complex dimensions of developmental regionalism and its connections to peacebuilding. This includes understanding how the nexus between state, politics and society has influenced evolving efforts towards regional development and its impact on peace. The chapter also identities and engages in a critical examination of the major challenges facing the regional developmental project. This discussion of the challenges systematically identifies and critically examines the constraints confronting, as well as the opportunities presented by, developmental regionalism as a catalyst for economic and conflict transformation. In conclusion, the chapter underscores the importance of a heterodox approach to developmental regionalism where the states of the region need to reach a consensus on how best to pool their energies and resources as the most viable option for overcoming constraints and maximizing existing opportunities. It also draws upon some success stories and best practices within and outside Southern Africa. In addition, it notes that the prospects for success can be enhanced by a people-centred developmental regionalism and peacebuilding approach.