Regional Forum: Developmental Regionalism, Peace and Economic Transformation in Southern Africa
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 to Friday, September 30, 2016
Mbabane, Swaziland

ECA’s Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa and the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York, in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat, are facilitating a regional forum linked to a research project on the theme “Developmental Regionalism, Peace and Economic Transformation in Southern Africa”.

The regional forum will focus on an intellectual and policy discussion on the notion of developmental regionalism and how it can facilitate peace and economic transformation in Southern Africa. It will interrogate the concept and the various policy dimensions and initiatives in the region aimed at promoting developmental regionalism, and related opportunities and challenges. About 15 research papers will be presented and two roundtable discussions convened at the forum.

The three-day forum will take place at the Royal Swazi Spa Valley resort in Ezulwini, Swaziland on 28-30 September 2016. Participants will include scholars, policy makers, development practitioners, top officials from national governments and regional institutions, civil society actors and international organizations. Self-sponsored participants are welcome.


This forum and research project are in furtherance of key recommendations from two previous major initiatives of ECA’s Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa. The first was the regional conference on “Building Democratic Developmental States for Economic Transformation in Southern Africa” held in Pretoria, South Africa in July 2015 and co-organized with UNDP-South Africa, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Southern Africa Trust.

The conference resolved that there is need to understand and support regional institutions, especially SADC, to promote developmental regionalism in accelerating economic transformation in the region. The second initiative was the inaugural edition of the Southern Africa Seminar Series on the theme “Conflict, Peace and Regional Economic Integration in Southern Africa” in October 2015, jointly organized with APN. A major recommendation was that thorough research needs to be undertaken in unraveling the notion of developmental regionalism and its relevance to economic transformation and peacebuilding in Southern Africa.