Political Economy Southern Africa (PESA) is a think-tank focused on regional integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the political economy of African development. Our mission is to advance knowledge that enables regional integration in SADC and contribute towards a secure, prosperous and unified Africa.
We produce economic research to inform public discourse and our engagements with governments, private sector and civil society about the most significant developments in African international affairs. Regional integration is a crucial element in overcoming the “triple threat” of unemployment, poverty and inequality in Africa.
Our work is based on economic policy and rigorous political analysis of critical global, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities for African development.
PESA was founded in 2015, under the leadership of Siya Biniza, and conceived of as the premier policy institute on regional integration in SADC.
PESA was borne out of the realisation that most Southern African governments’ development plans and industrial strategies have a national focus. The national emphasis in development planning is incompatible with the process of regional integration and the world of globalised capital and production; and ultimately undermines governments’ inability to consolidate private interests around national and regional development. At PESA we take a regional approach to find ways of stimulating the development of regional value-chains and encouraging regional industrialisation and development. Therefore PESA aims to make regional integration accessible for various audiences and to mainstream regional integration in policy-making and in the discourse on economic growth and development.
Our vision is to make African regionalism and the political economy universally accessible and influence governance in favour of African development.
We advance knowledge that enhances the developmental impact of regionalism in the SADC region, and other regions in Africa, by providing meaningful and impactful political economy research. We provide intuitive analysis, effective advisory, and advocacy to influence governance in favour of African development. Our purpose is to enable the socioeconomic emancipation of Africans; or to at least enhance the options available for Africans in their daily lives.
At PESA we focus on three areas of work, namely Economic Research, Government Relations, and Public Policy and Advocacy. Below is a brief description of our focus areas:
Economic Research: Our economic research is grounded in political economy analysis which allows us to provide an accurate account and understanding of African development by unpacking the nexus of politics and economics.
Government Relations: We enable high-impact partnerships and swift resolution to African development obstacles by advising private companies and NGOs on the best strategies engage the relevant authorities.
Public Policy & Advocacy: Our work is completed by PESA taking a stance on socioeconomic issues, influencing the transformation of discourse, and advocating for African development.