Fostering a common SADC regional identity through higher education institutions

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    Finding a common regional identity in Southern Africa will have to be based on a set of common values. This article will argue that the most sustainable attempt to create a common regional identity in the Southern African Development Community must be based on common democratic values. It argues that higher education institutions in the region – currently at the margins of the political project to create a common regional identity, should be at the core of any project to secure a common regional identity in SADC, based on democratic values. Furthermore, this article analyses how higher education in the region can help foster a common regional identity, which, it argues is a pre-condition for building a more sustainable regional integration project. Higher education can play its role in the context of enhancing integration and building a common regional identity based on democratic values in one of two ways: it can either be used as a tool to foster a regional identity either in its own right, or by serving as a catalyst to help along the processes of identity formation. The article analyses the implications–in terms of governance, leadership, and management–for higher education institutions in SADC, if they pursue such a new democratisation mission.