African Journal of Political Science and International Relations Vol. 3 (10), pp. 396-408, October, 2009
Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/ajpsir
ISSN 1996-0832 © 2009 Academic Journals
The challenges of regional integration in Southern
Mark Chingono* and Steve Nakana
University of Zimbabwe, P. O. Box MP167 Mount Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe.
Accepted 12 September, 2008
Regional integration is increasingly being accepted as essential in facilitating economic and political
development. Yet dominant development theories informing policy have yet to integrate ‘integration
theory’ into their models. In Southern Africa, the attempt to achieve regional integration using
‘disintegrative’ development models has led to paralysis and pain. This paper highlights this
contradiction and shows that regional integration presupposes complementary economic policies and
productive structures. Economic nationalism and the mono-cultural production of raw materials militate
against regional integration and this explains why in Southern Africa there is so much inertia but little
Keywords: Regional integration, economic development, political development, productive structures.
Regional integration has manifested itself historically in
Africa, America and Europe as bureaucratic efforts at
political unification and capital expansion. In Southern
Africa, it has taken the institutional form of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), which was
formed in 1992 (Johnson, 2004), and which superseded
the 1980 founded Southern African Development Cooperation Conference (SADCC). Formed against a
background of poverty and economic backwardness,
SADC evolved in a context of political turmoil and
instability in the sub-region. The wars of liberation
produced refugees and engendered considerable economic destruction, while the stalled transformations have
led to frustration and resentment.
The main objective of SADC is to promote...