Thousands of people and livestock in the Caprivi Strip have had to be evacuated as annual floodwaters rise in the Zambezi. However, loss of life has been kept to a minimum as informal warning systems prove to be effective.
Postwar Angola is keen to expand irrigation for much-needed development, Namibia is prioritising clean drinking water and sanitation, while Botswana wants to preserve the integrity of the world-renowned Okavango Delta for tourism.
Despite regional initiatives that even include the eventual possibility of a ‘‘Cape- to-Cairo’’ free trade area, protectionist impulses have caused non-tariff barriers to spring up across Southern Africa.
As Southern Africa prepares itself for another year of economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union, trade analysts say any deal should be about more than just liberalised trade.
A schism about the division of revenues in the world’s oldest customs union threatens to derail the process of regional economic integration in Southern Africa.
A universal Basic Income Grant (BIG) would create laziness and dependence among Namibia’s poor, say politicians. A daring pilot project set out to prove that this untrue. IPS spoke to one of the beneficiaries of the BIG.
A universal income grant in Namibia would alleviate poverty in one of the most unequal societies on earth, say campaigners. Free handouts only lead to laziness, responds an unwilling government.
Long years of armed conflict have obstructed development in the areas on either side of the Angola-Namibia border. Now a 45 million dollar infrastructure upgrade is set to improve access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation for one million people.
A decade after heavy floods wrecked havoc in Southern Africa, the region is better prepared to monitor and respond to seasonal flooding. This is thanks as much to the growing strength of transboundary institutions as it is to technical improvements.
South Africa landed a coveted membership with the Brazil, Russia, India and China bloc (BRIC) by marketing itself as a gateway to Africa but analysts doubt whether this development holds real benefits for poor countries on the rest of the continent.
As South Africa declares a national disaster due to flooding, other countries in the region hold their breath while water levels continue to rise.
While a trade deal between the European Union and Southern African countries is close it will not be concluded before the end of this year. In the meantime, South Africa remains in pursuit of an ambitious regional integration agenda.
The beleaguered Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has to face up to serious challenges at its upcoming heads of state meeting in October, including the divergent interests of its member states and the lack of coordinated industrial policies in the union.
With African countries' trade remaining inordinately dependent on natural resources exports, their economies could benefit from liberalisation of trade in services but only as long as proper domestic regulatory frameworks are put in place, some trade experts argue.
African governments’ ambitious plan for a tripartite free trade area (FTA), stretching from South Africa to Egypt, could be more realistic than getting existing ineffective regional customs unions on the continent to work.
Southern African leaders used the 30th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit of government leaders to rally around Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s land seizures, in a move that undermines regionalism, while lamenting their own failure to implement their decisions on regional economic integration.
Regional economic integration plans in southern Africa are not rooted in reality, according to civil society organisations holding a parallel meeting alongside the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Namibia’s capital of Windhoek.
"Africans do not believe women can do big business," fumes Zambian trader Angelica Rumsey.
Longer periods of drought, decreased river flow, higher rainfall variability and lower soil moisture content: water is at the heart of the impacts of climate change. Yet the precious commodity scarcely features in climate negotiations.
European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht has appeased leading European civil society organisations about the negotiations for a Southern African economic partnership agreement (EPA), promising "not to put undue pressure" on countries.
Southern African trade ministers have pledged to sign a significantly scaled down economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) before the end of 2010. Could this be the conclusion to years of divisive negotiations?