South Africa, the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement, and Regional Integration in Southern Africa
Bringing together about 30 government, business, and civil society actors, the July 2018 seminar sought to provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and dialogue on the issues raised by the SADC EPA; and to strengthen participants’ capacity to engage with the implications of the EPA for regional integration. The meeting sought to address a widely recognised need to ensure greater civil society involvement in the implementation of the agreement. It also focused on two key agriculture and agro-processing sectors: poultry and fisheries. Over 180,000 people work in food-processing in South Africa, making it the country’s largest manufacturing sector in employment terms. Proactive involvement by business, labour, and civil society in agro-processing industries is thus an imperative for EPA implementation – the agreement provides for liberalisation of about 80% of EU-SADC EPA group trade – such that it supports national and regional development goals. This policy brief is based on discussions at the meeting and the seminar concept paper.