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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Regional Co-Operation in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Special Reference to Southern Africa
Author:Leistner, Erich
Periodical:Africa Insight
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subjects:regional economic relations
common markets
Politics and Government
Drought and Desertification
Economics and Trade
Inter-African Relations
Abstract:The countries of sub-Saharan Africa expect regional cooperation and integration to reverse the continent's economic decline, promote development and strengthen Africa's position in the world. Up to the present, these expectations have been disappointed. After an overview of cooperation and integration schemes in the West, Central and East African subregions, this article turns to the regional organizations in southern Africa: the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the Common Monetary Area (CMA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa). It shows that basically three factors account for the disappointing achievements of regional cooperation and integration schemes: the strategies pursued, the structures of African economies, and the dominance of politics over economics. Regional cooperation is inevitably an intensely political process. The integration of the markets of African countries has to be understood as a long-term process. Priority should be given to functional cooperation (the path followed by the former SADCC) rather than market integration. Ref.