African economic integration initiatives have been judged by models and
theoretical concepts developed outside Africa. Findings from such unrealistic
and simplified models, rather than augment the continental initiatives, often
create pessimism among stakeholders in the continent and outside. Hence, this
paper emphasizes the fact that integration attempts should be evaluated in the
context of their objectives, and the political, economic, and institutional setups
in which they operate. To understand the economic integration dynamics in
Africa and other developing regions, our sets of analysis should go beyond the
common approaches which are based on optimum currency area (OCA) theory and experiences pertinent to north-north monetary integration. African
countries need to adopt an alternative model that make the integration
initiatives less costly and engender pessimism. Empowering citizens and
stakeholders to make informed decisions may also reduce the existing
pessimism about a Pan-African Economic Community initiative.
The fifteen countries that make up the SADC are Angola, Botswana, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia,
Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.