by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad on Regional Integration - Opportunities And Challenges,
Africa Day, 25 May 2007, Johannesburg
This year we celebrated
the 50th anniversary of the independence of Ghana, an event that was to have a
profound impact on millions of people throughout our continent.
also the 5th anniversary of the founding of the AU. As we meet today to celebrate
the 40th anniversary of Africa Day, I am reminded of the pain, conflict, the shame
of poverty and human degradation, the optimism and confidence of millions in our
continent, as so poignantly proclaimed by President Mbeki in his inauguration
speech to the SA Parliament. I quote :
" I am an African. I am born
of the peoples of the continent of Africa.
The pain of the violent conflict
that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, Burundi and Algeria experience
is a pain I also bear.
The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation
of my continent is a blight that we share.
The blight on our happiness that
derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human
affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair.
This is a savage road
to which nobody should be condemned.
This thing that we have done today, in
this small corner of a great continent that has contributed so decisively to the
evolution of humanity, says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise
from the ashes.
Whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing stops us now!
the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace!
However improbable it may sound
to the sceptics, Africa will prosper!
Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate
interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been
caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people,
let us say today: Nothing can stop us now! "
President Mbeki [Africa the
time has come]
As we seek to meet these challenges we have to look critically
at a number of important factors including:
- The dominance of one
major power and the absence of a balance of power in the global system;
continuing move to unilateralism and the weakening of the multilateral system;
stark failure of attempts at UN reforms;
- Failure to challenge the hegemony
- The failure to develop a response to globalization,
which will ensure that it benefits all.
- Uneven development between and
- Increasing marginalisation and increasing poverisation
of many countries
- Failure of development round of WTO talks
international division of labour
- No amount of measures will stop the
tide of Africans, desperate to escape poverty and underdevelopment, from seeking
to find better pastures in Europe. Europe can't be an island of prosperity in
a sea of poverty
- Failure of reform of Bretton Woods Institutions
dream of making the 21st century the African century.
"We must recognise
that global poverty constitutes the deepest and most dangerous structural fault
in the contemporary world economy and global societies. It constitutes the most
challenging structural fault. Logically, this means that the correction of this
fault has to be at the centre of the politics, policies and programmes of progressive
We hope to achieve this in conditions
of the accelerated pace of globalisation.
Whilst globalisation is creating
immense opportunities of growth and wealth creation for some, it has produced
an abundance of poverty for millions. Increasingly the world is being constructed
into two contrasting global villages.
In 2000 the historic Millennium
Summit Declaration proclaimed that "we believe that the central challenge
we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all
the world's people. For, while globalization offers great opportunities, at present
its benefits are very unevenly shared, while its costs are unevenly distributed.
We recognize that developing countries and countries with economies in transition
face special difficulties in responding to this central challenge. Thus, only
through broad and sustained efforts to create a shared future, based upon our
common humanity in all its diversity, can globalization be made fully inclusive
The Summit resolved to, inter alia, halve by the
year 2015, the proportion of the world's people whose income is less than one
dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and, by the same
date, to halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe
By the same date, to have reduces maternal mortality by
three quarters, and under-five child mortality by two-thirds, of their current
To have, by then, halted and begun to reverse, the spread of HIV
and AIDS, the scourge of malaria and other major diseases that afflict humanity.
Despite recent studies showing improved economic performance in Sub-Saharan
Africa, no-where else is the need for reform of the international system more
urgent that in Africa.
[Kofi Annan] "With the number of chronically
hungry people on the rise around the globe and living standards in some countries
diminishing instead of improving, the world is falling a long way short in its
drive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals."
What is Africa's
- Over 40% of Sub-Saharan African people live below the international
poverty line of US$ 1 a day.
- 34 of the world's 41 highly indebted poor
countries are in Africa.
- The cost to Africa of servicing its foreign debt
of US 349 billion in 1997 amounted to 21.3% of its earnings from the export of
goods and services.
- Africa with almost one-sixth the world's population
accounts for only one-fiftieth of global trade- and its share is diminishing.
- The high mineral commodities change prices and the discovery of new oil
reserves can change the bleak picture.
- Only 76% of Africa's children attend
primary school and only 26% go on to secondary school.
Less than 4%
receive tertiary education, compared with 51% in developed countries.
the recent commitments to increase ODA to Africa, in absolute terms, bilateral
ODA flows to African economies have dropped in the last decade and is well short
of the estimated $ 50 billion a year requires to reach the Millennium Development
- Capital flights continue
- Brain drain continues
Clearly the vast majority of Sub-Saharan African countries will not meet the MDG's.
What is to be done?
The consolidation of the African Agenda serves
as a pillar upon which we seek to achieve our developmental goals. This requires
a long term commitment to the successful restructuring of our REC's, strengthening
of the AU structures and organs, including the implementation of the NEPAD and
ensuring peace, stability and security in Africa within the framework of the AU
Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development policy (PCRD).
for achieving the aims of NEPAD is the AU, which was launched in Durban 2002 to
replace the OAU.
The key institutions have been operationalised:
- The Executive and Permanent Representative Committee
Parliament (SA has 5 representatives). We are hosting the Headquarters of PAP
Work is progressing on operationalising the other institutions, viz,
Social and Cultural Civil Society
- Court of Justice
- African Central
- African Monetary Fund
- African Investment Bank
Sub-regional structures are the building blocks of NEPAD.
Today I will
speak about integration in SADC. I am sure that in many ways it reflects what
is happening in all our RECs.
SADC is the primary vehicle for South African
policy and action to achieve regional integration and development within all priority
development sectors. SADC is recognised as a building block of the AU and serves
as a key NEPAD implementing agent. It is an objective of the South African government
to seek to enhance the capacity of SADC in order for it to provide a framework
within which each member state would have the opportunity to reach its full potential
in terms of peace, security, stability and economic and social development, as
well as civil society participation and gender equity.
Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) is the regional expression of NEPAD
priorities and objectives, which will ensure that the SADC's development agenda
works in tandem with the AU. RISDP is also brought into relation to the SADC Organ
on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is concerned with regional defence
and security matters, including issues such as drug trafficking, conflict prevention
and post-conflict reconstruction.
The Extraordinary SADC Summit held
in Midrand on 23 October 2006 was convened for the specific purpose of reviewing
the status of regional economic integration in Southern Africa, and to propose
measures to accelerate the implementation of the SADC economic integration agenda
The Summit reaffirmed its commitment to regional economic development and underlined
the need to mobilise resources in order to address issues of infrastructure, food
security and other supply side challenges within the Southern African region.
The Summit noted that it is through the development of supportive infrastructure
that the regional trade potential can be harnessed to the benefit of the people
of the region. The Summit recognised the need for complementary instruments and
policies to support the regional economic integration process, in order to achieve
high and sustainable economic growth and development in order to eradicate poverty.
To this end, the Summit urged all member states to formulate policies to forge
convergence of SADC economies. The Summit reaffirmed the need to ensure that the
process of deepening integration in SADC must always observe the principle of
member states' equity, balanced development and mutual benefit.
also noted that SADC's trade patterns consisted mainly of commodities, to which
end there was a need to diversify the economies of SADC member states and increase
intra-regional trade and growth. In addition, the Summit noted that the establishment
of the SADC Free Trade Area within SADC must take cognisance of developmental
integration elements such as infrastructure, poverty alleviation and sustainable
development. Of particular significance, the Summit concluded that the SADC Free
Trade Area programme was on course and that it will be launched, as planned, by
The Summit underscored the need for SADC to scale-up the implementation
of its regional integration agenda. The Summit reiterated that RISDP and SIPO
are the main instruments for scaling-up regional integration in SADC.
Mbeki articulated the priority areas within SADC as follows:
of macro-economic convergence around agreed indicators;
- Progress in terms
of infrastructure development cooperation programmes, Spatial Development Initiatives
and sectoral programmes;
- Achievement of some level of harmonisation of
industrial development strategies and competition policies, as called for in the
SADC Trade Protocol; and,
- Elaboration of a detailed and realistic Activity
Matrix necessary to create the SADC Free Trade Area, to include processes to achieve
balanced, mutually beneficial regional economic integration.
adopted a time frame for its integration process.
- The formation
of a Free Trade Area by 2008
- The completion of negotiations of the SADC
Customs Union by 2010
- The completion of negotiations of the SADC Common
Market by 2015
- The diversification of industrial structures and exports
with more emphasis on value addition across all economic sectors by 2015
Increase in intra-regional trade to at least 35% by 2008;
- Increase in
manufacturing as a % of GDP to 25% by 2015
The Regional Indicative
Strategic Development Plan is indicative benchmarks and not prescriptive.
As such, the target dates could be aspired to, and should not be cast in stone.
We must use our political will to effectively and efficiently to provide the momentum-driver
in the area of trade/economic liberalisation and development, which will provide
for the free movement of goods, services and factors of production, and intra-regional
investment and foreign direct investment.
We are concerned at the lack
of momentum-drivers regarding the development of efficient infrastructure and
services to facilitate the free movement of people, goods and services across
the region. This falls primarily within the ambit of member states' sovereignty,
which states are unwilling to compromise despite the necessity to accrue regional
benefits through integration.
In all SADC member states, and in particular
South Africa (because of its centrality in the regional development and integration
process), there is an urgent need to focus the implementation of RISDP towards
spatial development initiatives (development corridors, growth triangles, growth
centres and transfrontier conservation areas).
There is an urgent need
for a closer alignment and mutual reinforcement of South Africa's multilateral
and bilateral priorities within Southern Africa. The aim of this approach should
be to give actual effect to South Africa's stated intention that its efforts in
Southern Africa should be aimed at '
the maximisation of the potential of
each SADC member state in terms of security and stability; economic and social
development and civil society interaction
'; in support of the revitalisation
of the SADC development and integration agenda, in particular the effective operationalisation
of RISDP, SIPO (Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ) and NEPAD'.
is imperative that attention be given to the implementation of all SADC Protocols.
This implies an aggressive action plan that will examine the extent to which South
Africa has achieved implementation. Furthermore, this must be a priority in multilateral
and bilateral engagements with SADC countries.
The objectives of
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is to promote sustainable and
equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive
systems, deeper integration and cooperation, good governance, and durable peace
and security, in order for Southern Africa to emerge as a competitive and effective
player in international relations and the world economy. To this end, SADC pursues
a development integration approach, recognising the political and economic diversities
of the constituent member states, including their diverse production structures,
trade patterns, resource endowments, development priorities, institutional affiliations,
and resource allocation mechanisms.
SADC strives for the achievement
of balanced and equitable regional integration as a fundamental condition for:
sustained and sustainable development of the Southern African region;
shared success in freeing the ordinary working people of the region from the scourges
of unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment;
- Creating a firm basis
for the region successfully to respond to the challenges of globalisation, including
strengthening South-South relations of equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation;
- The creation of the possibility for Southern Africa to make its necessary
contribution as a region to the vitally important project of African integration
and unity; and
- The region's related capacity to contribute to the emergence
of a new world order that would fully restore Africa and the African Diaspora
to their rightful place among the world community of nations.
SADC therefore serves as the primary vehicle for South African foreign policy
and action to achieve regional development and integration within Southern Africa.
In November 2006, President Thabo Mbeki remarked:
we must make the point that this integration is not an end in itself. It is an
important part of the objective shared by SADC member states, as rapidly as possible
to reduce poverty and underdevelopment, improve the lives of all our people and
achieve balanced and shared growth and development for the countries of our region.
It therefore follows that the steps we must take along the path to integration
cannot be measured just against technical indicators but by the extent to which
they contribute to our shared developmental goals'.
In May 2006, the Economic
Commission for Africa (ECA) Report 'Assessing Regional Integration in Africa'.
ECA stated that Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa lacked dynamism
because of the actions (and inactions) of their member states. According to ECA,
a deeper understanding of the situation in the RECs was feasible only after exploring
how regional integration processes are viewed and implemented at the national
level. ECA found that agreed integration objectives were not adequately internalised,
and that delays in ratifying protocols were inclined to hamper the timely implementation
of decisions. Broad-based support for integration was lacking, relegating civil
society and the private sector to the role of being spectators to the process.
To this end, it was ECA's conclusion that African governments should review their
organisational structures in order to implement their regional agreements.
ECA also found that, in the majority of African countries, regional cooperation
did not proceed beyond signing treaties and protocols. Specifically, there was
no inclination by member states to integrate the objectives of the treaties within
the required timeframes, or with the requisite commitment in national development
plans, or in the sectoral programmes of appropriate line-function ministries and
departments. ECA found that the inability to translate REC goals into budgets
and national plans could also be attributed to lack of commitment to integration.
Where political commitment existed, it was easier for a country to draw up its
national development plans, strategies, and programmes with regional considerations
and with the regional market as the point of reference.
Despite all weaknesses,
obstacles and challenges, there is a major transformation process that is taking
place on the African continent that is anchored on key principles of African ownership
and leadership, self reliance and a new partnership with the developed and developing
world that is based on mutual respect, responsibility and accountability.
The regional process of economic integration must be viewed within the context
of the continental efforts towards economic and political integration. It will
be recalled that the AU Heads of State and Government at their meeting held in
Sirte, Libya in July 2005, reaffirmed that the ultimate goal of the African Union
is to realise a full political and economic integration leading to the United
States of Africa. The Union Government was envisaged to have identifiable goals
based on a set of clear, shared values and common interests. In order to effectively
drive the African integration agenda, South Africa must ensure that the regional
and continental processes are complementary and mutually supportive.
AU Summit held in Banjul, Gambia in July 2006 recognised the pace of integration
on the continent must be accelerated. Africa cannot become a full-fledged member
of the international community without having achieved its own monetary and economic
An African Foreign Ministers meeting was held in Durban
from 8 - 10 May 2007, to prepare for the "Grand Debate" Summit to be
held in Ghana at the end of June 2007.
This effort of African leaders
to wrestle Africa out of its present conditions of underdevelopment has found
its ultimate expression in the new partnership for Africa's Development, NEPAD.
The NEPAD sectoral programmes cover many priorities such as agriculture, science
and technology, human development, industrialisation, transport, environment,
economic integration etc. Taken in totality, they address the important objectives
of self -reliance and the internal and regional integration, conflict prevention,
management and resolution, political, economic and corporate governance, protection
and promotion of democracy and human rights and people-centred development.
Kofi Annan: "We will not enjoy development
without security, we will not enjoy security without development and we will not
enjoy either without respect for human rights."
Africans also have
to deal with democracy, good governance and human rights. However we believe that
democracy cannot be "force-fed", but must develop with the realities
of each country.
Through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), NEPAD
introduces a voluntary instrument for monitoring compliance with the principles,
priorities and objectives of the Constitutive Act and other decisions of the AU.
It provides a mechanism for peer learning and the sharing of information and best
practice. Participation in the APRM is voluntary. 24 countries have joined. 2
countries have been reviewed. SA is presently being reviewed.
According to the latest Amnesty International report
is as polarised as it was at the height of the Cold War and in many ways far more
The politics of fear is fuelling a downward spiral of
human rights abuses in which no rights are sacrosanct.
.The USA administration
is treating the word as one giant battlefield for its war on terror."
We must interrogate this report to determine whether it is correct and what
the consequences will be on our developmental agenda.
- End of the Cold War
- Emergence of a hegemonic super-power
peace dividends in the post Cold war period
- Sept 11, 2001 yet another
- Ascendancy of Neo-Conservatives
- National Security
Strategy Document (Nov 2001)
We are now confronted with concepts
such as :
- " Axis of Evil"
- "Rogue States"
Any country that falls within any one of these
categories will be vulnerable to unilateral preventative action and regime change.
To justify such actions, which are in violation of the UN Charter and International
law, concepts have been introduced such as:
- "Clash of Civilisations"
- Islamo- Fascism"
.What then is
the reality that we have to confront presently?
- No common vision of
- Disregard for the UN Charter and international Law
Environmental degradation, energy security, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases
The transformation of the very nature of war as witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Space war" is also becoming a reality.
- Globalisation of crime
and drug syndicates
- Unprecedented growth of Anti-Americanism and the
consequent Unprecedented spread of terrorism and their potential links with weapons
of mass destruction
It is in this context that we must look
at African conflicts
1.1 African Conflicts
- Western Sahara
- Peace and Security
- African Standby Force
- Committee of the Wise
Can we have a "better
South Africa, a better Africa, a better world" if we do not fundamentally
restructure the global political and economic governance.
in his latest book, The Age of Consent: a manifesto for a new global order, correctly
points out that up until now:
"Everything has been globalised except
A handful of men in the richest nations use the global powers
they have assumed to tell the rest of the world how to live."
tells us that this "Age of Coercion" needs to be replaced by an "Age
of Consent" and that we need "to discover the means of introducing a
new world order, in which the world's institutions are run by and for their people."
We seek to transform the global exercise of power in a world order that is
characterised, inter alia, by:
- Unilateralism vs. rules based global
system (erosion of multilateralism)
- Networks and alliances based on specific
issues (e.g. "coalition of the willing")
- Narrow national interests
and the tendency to make the fight against terrorism the overarching framework
for dealing with the complex problem humanity faces, often supersede adherence
to international law and has a major negative impact on Africa's stability, security
and developmental agenda.
A major study, "The rule of Power
or the rule of Law by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and
the Committee for Nuclear Policy concluded that the "USA has violated, compromised
or acted to undermine in some crucial way every treaty that we have studied in
detail, including the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the Comprehensive Test
Ban treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. According to the report, the
USA is "devising a way from regarding treaties as an essential element in
global security to a more opportunistic standoff abiding by treaties only when
it is convenient".
- Unequal world trading and financial systems
Annan (Sept 2006)
"We face a world whose divisions threaten the very notion
of an international community upon which the UN stands for.
of last 10 years have not resolved but sharpened the challenges of our unjust
world economy, world disorder and contempt for human rights and the rule of law".
President Mbeki: Perhaps the mistake we made was to assure that
contemporary distribution of power in human society would permit this outcome
seen that regardless of this fundamental consideration, it would be possible for
the concerns of the poor to take precedence on the global agenda and the global
programme of action. However, "because of the space the powerful occupy,
relative to the power equation, what they decide will necessary constitute the
global decision of what constitute the central, principal and most urgent threat
and challenge to human society, necessitating various changes in the global system
of governance. What they will decide will translate into a set of obligatory injunctions
issues by the UN, which all member states will have to accept and implement".
We comforted or perhaps deluded ourselves with the thought that this organisation
is the most universal and most representative organisation in the world. Afraid
to ask the question is it?
The challenge facing Africans is how do we
make the UN the "most universal and representative organisation" so
that the fundamental challenges we have identified can be successfully dealt with.
The challenge, inter alia, demands urgent reforms to make the UN more relevant
to current realities. There is a need to transform all the organs of the UN to
enable it to become more streamlined, efficient, effective, transparent and representative.
o We therefore firmly support the restructuring of the UN and all its related
institution- the GA, the Security Council, the Bretton Woods Institutions- ECOSOCC,
WHO, and the WTO.
o Africa must also intensify all efforts for the transformation
of other multilateral institutions- the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth,
The Socialist International, G77+ China
The new world
order that is emerging is unsustainable. In the interest of humanity we must address
the concerns of the billions of people in the world who are marginalised.
The Millennium Declaration identified fundamental values that were essential
to international relations in the twenty-first century, these included:
The right to live in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence,
oppression or injustice.
- Equality. All must have the opportunity to benefit
- Solidarity. Distribution of costs and burdens fairly
in accordance with basic principles of equity and social justice.
Respect for diversity of belief, culture and language. Differences should be cherished
as an asset of humanity. Promote a culture of peace and dialogue among all nations.
for nature. Prudent management of all living species and natural resources, in
accordance with the precepts of sustainable development. Only in this way can
the immeasurable riches provided to us by nature be preserved and passed on to
our descendants. The current unsustainable patterns of production and consumption
must be changed in the interest of our future welfare and that of our descendants.
responsibility. Responsibility for managing worldwide economic and social development,
as well as threats to international peace and security, must be shared among the
nations of the world and should be exercised multilaterally. The United Nations
must play the central role.
"..all Africa has this single
aim; our goal is a united Africa in which the standards of life and liberty are
constantly expanding; in which the ancient legacy of illiteracy and disease is
swept aside; in which the dignity of man is rescued from beneath the heels of
colonialism which have trampled it." [Albert Luthuli accepting the Nobel
Peace Prize 1961]
46 years later what has been achieved? What remains
to be done?
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152