Consolidating Regional Integration Through a Free Movement Protocol: The Quest for Collective Development in the SADC

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Victor H Mlambo

Abstract

This paper examines whether a free movement protocol in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) would deepen and consolidate regional integration and development. Political discourse in the SADC has argued for the need to consolidate regional integration considering the changing trajectory of socio-economic conditions in the region. Free movement regimes have been seen as key for collective development through increased labour flows, goods and services. However in SADC, since the first draft protocol on free movement in 1995, the region still does not have a free movement regime in operation.  An examination of regional integration literature reveals that: lack of political will, unequal levels of economic development, borders and their colonialist legacies and the competing interests of states are stifling regional integration in the SADC region. Regardless of associated economic benefits, a free movement protocol would not change the economic trajectory of the region until such challenges are addressed. Moving beyond these challenges, the capacitation of regional institutions and establishing inter-state ministerial committees to study the impact of a free movement protocol in the SADC would be the first step in consolidating regional integration.

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How to Cite
Mlambo, V. (2020). Consolidating Regional Integration Through a Free Movement Protocol: The Quest for Collective Development in the SADC. African Journal of Governance & Development, 9(2), 455-471. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/jgd/article/view/1918
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Articles
Author Biography

Victor H Mlambo, University of Zululand

Department of Public Administration