Regionalism And Regionalism In Africa

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1. Intro Regionalism has become one of the most noticeable aspects of African politics (). To a certain extent, African countries have integrated the achievement of a multilaterally profitable Regionalism and for this purpose; they have directed their policies and laws so that they match the objectives and policies of the different regional organizations, coalitions and alliances, they have joined, signed or subscribe into (). It has been argued that Regional integration is the most appropriate way to reach that aim and improve Africa’s capacity to handle the different challenges that it faces, notably, underdevelopment, extreme poverty, and marginalisation in a world where globalism is a evidence of development (). However, the questions that emerge in this essay will be to critically determine what Regionalism represents, what determines the weakness of African states. This analysis will further question whether Regionalism and Regional integration in the form of the SADC provide an adequate and effective solution to those challenges that transpire within African politics provided they emerge from ideologies such as continental solidarity which embody the spirit of pan-Africanism, simultaneously taking into account that a strong divergence persists among SADC states. 2. Definition of Regionalism and Difference with Regionalization One can talk about Regionalism when several countries come together with a sense of common and shared identity, goals and purpose (Hurell, 1996: 37-38). In order to emphasize the importance of these elements, they create institutions and organizations that demonstrate this particular identity and collective interest within a geographical and regional scheme or framework (Hurell, 1996: 40). For the la... ... middle of paper ... ...eve economic endeavour. They mostly put emphasis on areas such as water and hydro-electricity (). These initiatives led to the belief that a free trade protocol (FTP) removing trade barriers would facilitate the access to individual markets by the other states (). The said Protocol was signed in Maseru (Lesotho), in August 1996 and envisioned the creation of a Free Trade Area by 2004 thus cancelling tariff barriers and easing the emergence of multilateral trading partnership, with the objective of creating a fully integrated regional (SADC) market (). However, because of its lack of clarity on the regulations, the protocol has proved inefficient and an issue became obvious for everyone to see: countries such as SA preferred to both establish regional multilateral and re-negotiate and agree bilateral agreements that would suit its policies with individual states ().
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