State Multiple Regional Membership as a threat to Peace and Security in Eastern and Southern Africa

Jacob Lisakafu


It is an indisputable fact that since the 1990s overlapping membership in regional organisations has become a matter of debate among concerned officials and interest groups. Such overlaps, which continue, to date, with different shapes and forms, have serious implications in trade, peace and security particularly in Africa. This paper analyzes challenges of state overlapping membership in regional organisations in search for lasting peace and security in Eastern and Southern Africa regions with particular focus on Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and International Conference of the Great Lakes Regions (ICGLR). The paper argues that existing overlaps of state membership in regional bodies lead to failure of concerned states in their efforts to simultaneously fulfil their obligations. Regional experiences indicate that a country with multiple membership often finds itself grappling with regional arrangements that offer highly social, economic and security benefits. Multiple regional membership further leads to loss of focus and disrupt regional bodies’ core desire and aspiration for strategic collective security. The paper suggests that concerned member states should consider taking necessary steps to review their involvement in regional arrangements for concrete realization of economic cooperation and integrated political synergy, peace and security.

Keywords: Africa, EAC, SADC, Peace, Security


Jacob Lisakafu Lecturer, The Open University of Tanzania E-mail:

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