The private sector and regional integration in Southern Africa
The fundamental role of a robust and vibrant private sector for effective and sustained growth is incontestable. A growing private sector is a major source of wealth, dynamism, competitiveness and knowledge diffusion, all of which lead in many ways to long-term growth and sustainable development. The role of the private sector in this whole process is particularly relevant in the African context where the capacity of governments to invest and spur continued growth is very much limited and in some cases, their efficiency may be questioned. Nevertheless, regional integration in particular is widely acknowledged as being essential in facilitating economic, social and political development, as well as structural transformation of the continent’s economies. Importantly, since the promulgation of the Abuja Treaty in 1991, one factor that has emerged and become increasingly apparent to the continent’s political leadership and decision makers is that, to achieve successful and sustainable regional integration, it is imperative that the private sector plays a leading and catalytic role in the process.