Southern African Special Administrative Region

The Southern African Special Administrative Region is a political concept proposing the creation of an autonomous self-governing region – or special administrative region (SAR) – in southern Africa. The proposal, made to encourage political discourse, was put forward in late 2007 following popular concern that southern Africa was at risk of losing political, social and economic headway. Much of the discussion to date has surrounded the need for the nucleation of an economic and social example for southern Africa, as well as innovative approaches to reducing crime and poverty in the region.

The concept of a special administrative region in southern African is based in the theory of Paul Romer, professor of economics at New York University. Romer proposes founding many new charter cities on the coasts of developing countries. These cities would be run according to business-friendly rules and could create jobs for many millions of people. Romer argues that rich nations should guarantee the enforcement of rules in charter cities, while developing countries would provide the land.

The Progressive initiative, a South African political organisation, is pursuing this concept.