A critical evaluation of the effectiveness of regional economic integration: A Case of the Regional Indicative Strategic Developmental Plan (RISDP) 2003-2018
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The major motivation behind regional integration in SADC is to create a self-reliant region that has a sustainable trading system. The Regional indicative strategic developmental plan has moved significant strides in the process of regional integration. The main thrust of this research is to empirically evaluate the pace and progress of the development plan against the objectives of SADC. To achieve this, the study uses surveys and in depth interviews to assess the extent to which SADC has managed to meet the timelines set in the plan against the achieved set milestones. The study seeks to critically assess the feasibility of a customs union in SADC, taking into consideration the economic disparities that exist within the regional block. Furthermore the study assesses the member states response to the convergence targets that form the foundation of monetary integration through case studies and key informant interviews. If SADC member states achieve monetary integration, it will be feasible for the states to achieve a single currency which is scheduled for 2018. The single currency will be administered by a regional central bank. Therefore considering the advances of SADC in the integration process the study sums up that full integration is feasible even though the timelines of the strategic plan will not be met.