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The ontology of diversity and open borders phenomenon in the Southern African development community region: an ethico-political enquiry.

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In the present era, migration has gained significant attention in international discussions, and there is ongoing discourse over the unrestricted movement of products and individuals. Significant discourse surrounds the African Union’s (AU) pursuit of continental integration, particularly in facilitating the unrestricted flow of goods throughout the continent. Regional integration is a topic of discussion at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) level. It involves the removal of barriers for inhabitants of member nations, particularly in the context of economic integration. However, as alluded to, the emphasis is placed more on the movement of goods rather than the movement of people. Why there exists a greater degree of restriction on the mobility of people compared to the mobility of goods is a topic grappled with. Furthermore, it is imperative to analyze the African continent’s diverse population to determine how much it influences the facilitation or restriction of the free movement of people within the continent, particularly within the SADC region. This study presents an ethical and political examination of the ontology of Diversity and the phenomenon of open borders in the SADC region. The SADC region is widely recognized for its rich cultural legacy and complex social structure, making it an intriguing context for examining the complexities of Diversity and the notion of open borders. The study intends to further our understanding of the intricate interplay between Diversity, open borders, and their ethical and political ramifications. The study's key objective is to critically assess the extent to which migration patterns, political ideologies, and the ontology of cultural Diversity influence the open borders phenomenon in the SADC region. To achieve this objective, three sub-objectives are put forward. First, to critically examine the nature of the SADC region’s population; second, to critically explore what the open borders phenomenon is; and third, to critically interrogate the ontology of Diversity in the open borders phenomenon from the perspective of the ideals of Moderate Communitarianism, African Socialism (Ujamaa), and Consequentialism. The research thus critically analyzes the ethical and political dimensions of open borders and Diversity. It explores the analysis of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and nations and the impact of unrestricted borders on social cohesion, human rights, and regional governance. The methodology utilized in this study is qualitative and involves a comprehensive literature review. The study provides valuable insights into the complex dynamics of Diversity and open borders through a comprehensive approach. This initiative aims to provide policymakers, international organizations, and civil society stakeholders with a thorough understanding of the ethical and political considerations of managing Diversity and open borders in the SADC region. The research possesses significance due to its potential to make valuable contributions to scholarly discourse and offer insights that can inform the formulation of policies. It aims to deepen our understanding of the conceptual framework of Diversity and the phenomenon of open borders to foster regional integration, social cohesion, and sustainable development within the region. Its findings will assist in developing comprehensive and effective policies that address the intricacies and benefits of Diversity and open borders. Therefore, these policies will promote a cohesive and successful SADC region. This scholarly inquiry delves into the ethical and political dimensions of Diversity and the notion of open borders, shedding light on their interconnectedness and the resulting ethical and political implications within the SADC region. It aims to stimulate critical discussion, deepen comprehension, and provide insightful viewpoints on advancing a more inclusive, integrated, and ethically grounded SADC community through a comprehensive analysis of these complex issues.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.