Thursday, November 25, 2010

Regional integration in Southern Africa focusing on the the future of SADC and SACU

This paper shows that the international trade environment has witnessed growth in the number of preferential trade agreements (PTA) between developed and developing countries. Southern Africa is not spared from engaging in such types of preferential trade agreements with good examples being the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which comprises 14 countries, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) with 19 countries while the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) which is the oldest customs union has five member states.

As SADC moves into customs union while SACU is already a customs union, however membership of more than one customs union is technically impossible. Hence as SADC moves to a CU, member states of both groupings with multiple memberships at present will have to strike the balance of the costs and benefits of belonging to one or another CU grouping. This is not the only major problem with regional integration in southern Africa, the economic partnership agreement (EPA) has also added another confusion where members of the oldest customs union. Click here to read more...

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