This article argues that African member states have failed to tap into the massive potentials provided by Regional Economic Communities (RECs) due to factors including, government interferance, lack of invesstment capital, expertise and corruption. The author recommends the establishment of Special Purpose Vehicles at the REC levels, to harness these potentials and scale up the production of natural resources in the continent.
SADC Trade Facilitation Efforts
Regional integration requires not only the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers, but also the removal of impediments that cause the physical movement of goods across borders to be slow and costly. These impediments may arise due to defects in policies, laws or procedures. Thus, trade should not only be liberalised, but it also needs to be facilitated. The World Trade Organization (WTO) defines trade facilitation as “the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes.” Six of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are land-locked (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Therefore, inefficiency and high costs in cross-border trade have detrimental impacts on their ability to participate in global, as well as in regional trade. SADC states are parties to several agreements that aim at facilitating trade. However, the implementation of obligations remains a chronic challenge.