The Political Economy of Micro-regionalism: the Case of the Maputo Development Corridor
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In line with most other macro-regions of the world, Southern Africa is experiencing a (re-)emergence of micro-regionalism. The Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) programme is the most distinct form of policy-driven micro-regionalism in current Southern Africa. The SDI programme was initiated by the South African government in 1995. These initiatives are intended as an integral part of the South African government’s macroeconomic strategy as set out in its Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) policy. A key component of the SDI paradigm is therefore to move away from the protected and isolated import substitution approach to economic development towards one in which international competitiveness, regional cooperation and a more diversified ownership are paramount. The SDIs are targeted, short-term and often extremely comprehensive initiatives, designed to facilitate global competitiveness, access to global capital and investment, infrastructural development and ‘sustainable’ job creation in certain specific spatial locations in South Africa and Southern Africa (Jourdan, 1998: 718). See Table 8.1 for an overview of the South African SDIs, and Table 8.2 for an overview of the regional SDIs and development corridors in the broader Southern African region. Map 8.1 shows the geographical overview of the regional SDIs.
KeywordsPolitical Economy Political Commitment South African Government Local Participation Mpumalanga Province
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