Mindful of the future economic and social sustainability of the region, as well as the subcontinent's future in terms of the African Renaissance, this profile provides an understanding of the main developmental and
institutional challenges that confront the region. The authors highlight the political, economic and social conditions in the region, and identify common trends. Profiling the current opportunities and challenges that
could strengthen or reverse regional integration, the paper reviews the progress made in the promotion of greater regional integration; and investigates the extent to which member states adopt a regional identity.
Sanusha Naidu is a research specialist in the Integrated Rural and Regional Development Research Programme and the Southern African Regional Network (SARPN). She has published in the areas of African political economy and democratisation and is at present co-leading a project that tracks South African corporate expansion into Africa.
Benjamin Roberts is a research specialist in the Integrated Rural and Regional Development Research Programme and the Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN). He has extensive experience in the micro-econometric analysis of household surveys and his journal publications deal mainly with issues of poverty measurement, especially from a longitudinal perspective.