Accessibility links

Analysing the development process for infrastructure projects in SADC

While the emphasis on regional integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is growing, the lack of infrastructure development has emerged as one of the biggest challenges to the full attainment of this goal.

The paper clarifies that there are many actors involved in the infrastructure development process in the SADC region. Nevertheless, the majority of the necessary infrastructure is yet to be built, though the SADC region has finally managed to consolidate and harmonise its member states’ regional integration plans into one integrated whole that is sold as a package.

Key points comprise:

  • SADC member states are likely to achieve more if they work together in identifying the infrastructure projects necessary for regional integration
  • the biggest lesson learnt over the years has been the value of ownership of the development process, even when the funding is external
  • the biggest challenge will remain that of political will to move the process beyond the piece of paper on which the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) is written

The author illustrates that regional plans have to be written into the national development plans; and the various government departments and implementation agencies of the SADC RIDMP have to be coordinated, empowered and capacitated to ensure that the various regional agreements are fulfilled. In addition, the secretariat also needs to be empowered for oversight, enforcement, and monitoring and evaluation purposes.