Regional integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC): A case study of Namibia's cross border migration issues in Oshikanga.
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The article is directly the product of research performed as part of the PhD dissertation on Politics and Public Management offered by the Department of Political and Administrative Studies of the University of Namibia. The main objective of this article was to investigate issues of cross-border migration and their effects on the project of the SADC regional integration. A case study of the border area around the Oshikango town at the Namibia/Angola border has yielded the empirical data. The data were gathered about the distribution of variables such as grassroots community’s understanding and attitudes towards implications of cross border migration as measured against the SADC project of regional integration. Other important variables that support investigation techniques are gender, age and education level of respondents. Informed by this investigation and based on the Oshikango case study this article has arrived at the conclusion that SADC is currently unable to achieve its goal of regulating free movement of persons in the region. The problematic seems to be that since SADC is state-based regime, member states take their refuge in the doctrine of state sovereignty, often at the expense of the common regional agenda, in other words they talk regionalism, but they act nationally. This characterised SADC as a shallow integration with limited involvement of civil society and local communities, and hence, cross-border migration control in the region became an issue. Induced by these conclusions, this article recommended encouragement of trans-frontier special development arrangements such as parks and corridors deeply integrated in trans-boundary grassroots communities.