Advancing regional integration through the free movement of persons in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Victor Amadi Patricia Lenaghan

The level at which the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has managed to regulate the free movement of persons, so as to reduce or completely eliminate, rigorous administrative requirements poses a challenge in so far as the ease of services supply is concerned. The Draft Protocol on the Facilitation on the Movement of Persons of 2005, remains inoperative, leaving national immigration laws to regulate the movement of people in the region. This lack of progress may indicate a lack of political will towards creating an effective large-scale integrated community. Intra-regional trade in aspects relating to services in the SADC is at a low as will be seen in the background and introductory section of this paper. This paper seeks to argue for the adoption of a less restrictive approach towards movement of people as a strategy to further boost regional trade in the SADC.

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