Concluding note

Table of Contents:

Southern Africa is a region with strong historical ties, cultural affinities and human migration, which provides a bond of organic solidarity and social capital and a good foundational base for promoting regional cooperation and integration. The liberation struggles cemented that relationship in fostering fraternal solidarity and camaraderie amongst the liberation movements in the region. It was in the womb of political struggles that economic cooperation and integration was conceived. However, as Kaire Mbuende (2012: 42), a former Executive Secretary of the SADC once noted, “history and geography are an advantage, but are not sufficient for the construction of a regional community. There must be favourable environment, but also political will and commitment to the project”. The goal of regional integration in Southern Africa, more specifically, in promoting developmental regionalism—an agenda that facilitates inclusive spatial economic growth and benefit for all countries and peoples in the region and ensures sustainable development—has been quite challenging. Developmental regional economic integration, as James Hentz (2005: 24) noted, must promote greater regional interdependence and equitable regional development. The SADC, as the main regional economic community in Southern Africa, constitutes the major regional vehicle for transformation and socio-economic development in Southern Africa and, hence, is the primary focus of this book.

The 21st century provides new challenges and opportunities for the SADC and the region to reposition itself in the African and global landscape in maximising its developmental potentials and capacity. Rapid and sustained economic growth, economic diversification and structural change, increased production and enhanced intraregional trade, free and unhindered human mobility in the region, empowerment of women in both the economic and social spheres and addressing the triple but debilitating problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment (especially of the youth) are some of the critical challenges that the region has to face in the 21st century. This would require innovative and strategic thinking and informed policy choices in the region. This book offers some ideas, views and thoughts on how the goal of developmental regionalism can be achieved in Southern Africa.


  • 1 For a narrative of the early settlements, see, McDonald, Jared, “Southern Africans and the Advent of Colonialism”, in Adrian S. Wisnicki and Megan Ward, eds. Southern Africans and the Advent of Colonialism, Livingstone Online, times/southern-africans-and-the-advent-colonialism, accessed on 9 January 2019.
  • 2 See, Owen Jarus, “Shorn People: History and Culture”, shona-people.html accessed on 3 January 2019.
  • 3 See, SADC, SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (Gaborone: SADC, 2015a).


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