The Southern African Development Community in legal historical perspective

  • P. C. Osode University of Fort Hare, South Africa


This article explores the institutional history of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a view to isolating the factors and/or forces behind the slow progress of real economic integration in Southern Africa. It finds that SADC’s poor track record in delivering on its institutional objectives is attributable to four closelyrelated factors: regional trade imbalances; South African equivocation towards economic integration; lack of political will and/or stability; and an unwillingness on the part of SADC Member States to surrender some elements of their economic sovereignty. Based on lessons extrapolated from the historical analysis, the article concludes with thoughts on what may be required to ensure rapid progress towards real economic integration in Southern Africa.


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