SADC in 2003: Restructuring and progress in regional integration
The present desk study was commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. It traces recent developments in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), organisational restructuring and progress in regional integration. The report follows up two earlier reports from the Chr Michelsen Institute (CMI), Assessing the Restructuring of SADC - Positions, Policies and Progress (R2001:6) and Restructuring SADC - Progress and Problems (R2002:15). The last year has seen a number of important milestones for SADC restructuring, the adoption of a Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and a Strategic Indicative Plan for the SADC "Organ" (SIPO). The first meeting of the Integrated Council of Ministers took place and a study on SADC organisational structure was completed. Other important events in 2003 were the signing of a Charter of Fundamental Social Rights and a SADC Mutual Defence Pact. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been excluded for non-payment and Seychelles, which has not paid up, has given notice of its withdrawal from SADC. The impending hunger catastrophe of 2003 did not become as serious as had been expected, but the region still suffers from the severe HIV/AIDS epidemic. While the SADC Free Trade Area is being implemented, the forthcoming trade negotiations under WTO and the formation of an EU-SADC EPA will be challenging issues in the near future, not least because of the criss-cross of overlapping trade blocs in the region. A major outstanding issue is the important Protocol on Finance and Investment.
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