SACU, Regional Integration and the Overlap Issue in Southern Africa: From Spaghetti to Cannelloni?

"This paper examines the regional integration initiatives underpinning the various southern African RECs, and SACU's relationship to the rationalization of RECs in southern and eastern Africa. Part 2 sketches the institutional frameworks associated with SACU's 'competitor' RECs in the region and maps the broad contours of their trade integration objectives in light of their desire to establish customs unions. Part 3 relates the mapping exercise in Part 2 to SACU's own institutional and trade integration objectives with a view to establishing broad lines of convergence and divergence. Part 4 tries to make some sense of the regional integration dynamics from the standpoint of what SACU requires in order to advance its development agenda. We conclude that SACU should be explicitly recognised as a fast-tracking building block of southern African economic integration under a broader 'variable geometry' option with the EAC serving as the East African anchor, and we offer a broad framework for achieving this objective."