Social cohesion is a powerful force that has helped to change and reshape the political landscape of southern Africa in the last four decades. However, social cohesion is rarely factored into regional integration endeavors in this part of Africa, which are in the main, geared towards economic imperatives. With economic development as the primary objective of nations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the assumption here seems to centre on the notion that once the region has been economically integrated, then human development would follow. This thinking is in line with the neo-liberal paradigm of “trickle down” economics which has not been very helpful to states of this region. Nonetheless, this lop-sided view of regional integration has a history.
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