Scarlett Cornelissen

Sport collaboration in the Southern African region: the practice and rhetoric of sport cooperation, development and regional integration
Scarlett Cornelissen

Several endogenous and external factors play in on the success of sport development in Africa. One such factor is the degree to which the advancement of sport and aspects such as its administration and infrastructure figure in public policy-making, and the extent to which sport institutionally and otherwise overlap with other policy sectors. Another is the extent to which governments are able to give fiscal momentum to goals around the furtherance of sport. As regards the latter, it is frequently the case that support to domestic sport sectors are treated as ‘softer targets’ for collaboration between or development assistance from developed to developing states. Increasingly, however, sport development is emerging as a sector of collaboration within regional contexts among developing countries. Conventionally viewed as a means to foster neighbourly goodwill and understanding, sport development is today increasingly incorporated into formal regional structures of cooperation and integration. Often the aim of such institutional arrangements is to rationalise and cohere scarcer resources, in which sport is just one sector of collaboration, but which is targeted at meeting collective objectives around ancillary sectors such as health or youth and social development. In this way regional policy around sport is deliberately tailored to align with other regional programmes of cooperation, and sometimes integration. This paper assesses the nature of sport development collaboration in Southern Africa, by examining the institutional formations and activities within the main regional body, the Southern African Development Community, and exploring the content and aims of other public (i.e. state) and private initiatives within the region. Conclusions are drawn on the implications of existing policies and institutions, and their manifest shortcomings, on the level of sport development in Southern Africa, and lessons for other African states.


Scarlett Cornelissen
Scarlett Cornelissen (PhD, University of Glasgow) is a senior lecturer in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Her current research interests include international urban trends and their implications for development in Southern Africa; migration and urban development in Southern Africa; South African foreign policy; and the politics of major sport events. Aside from a single authored book on global tourism (The global tourism system: governance, development and lessons from South Africa (Ashgate, 2005), she has co-edited three books (a two-volume review of globalisation will appear with Palgrave in 2007) and she has published on a wide variety of topics in journals such as Review of International Political Economy, Journal of Modern African Studies and Third World Quarterly.

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