objectives of regional integration in africa

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This study was triggered by an observation that many regional integration institutions (RIIs) in Africa have fallen short of effectively delivering on their mandates. This is very important in order to track implementation of agreements reached with these partners. A number of the countries in both these groupings are also members of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). In this model, equity is both the base and engine of development, as well as the expression and guarantee of human rights, human security and regional stability. Thus - whether optimal for economic development or not, or even minimally 'viable' or not - these national entities cannot easily or immediately be submerged into one unitary economy. More fundamentally, different modalities and rates of integration would also have to be adopted in view of the very unequal levels of economic development between the small and/or poorer least developed countries (LDCs) and other larger and/or relatively stronger 'developing' countries in Africa. Moreover, integration can improve regional security, because the expansion of international trade often correlates with a reduction of conflict. — Ibrahim Mayaki, chief executive officer of the the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which is currently transforming into the African Union Development Agency (AUDA)—the implementing arm of the AU. It reverses that trend of extractive-based infrastructure by focusing on regional projects and transport corridors that ease movement and spur development. Economic . This article was published in GREAT Insights Volume 1, Issue 1 A degree of political cooperation is taking place at inter-governmental level through the creation of continental political bodies, and security and other agreements. At one level, this is based on political and moral issues of equity and justice. The money we get from the African Union is rarely used for projects in Egypt, South Africa or Nigeria. The objectives of the agreement could range from economic to political to environmental, although it has typically taken the form of a political economy initiative where commercial interests are the focus for achieving broader socio-political and security objectives, as defined by national governments. The Treaty establishing the East African Community then names as subsequent stages of EAC integration the establishment of a Common Market, then a Monetary Union and ultimately a Political Federation. Regional integration is fundamentally based on solidarity, and we know that solidarity is not only moral. It is expected to address implementation challenges regarding decisions made by the African Union. and gender . The International Transport is critical to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (United Nations) and the objectives of the Regional Economic Integration in Africa. The AU has really made great strides, particularly in the continental free trade area. Agenda 2063 is the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. Intervening for or against these and other similar regional programs in Africa, there are many international political and economic forces actively promoting 'open' or liberalised regions. Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA I, ARIA II, and ARIA III). Africa’s new free trade area, for example, is a continental initiative. Multiple and Overlapping of Membership ... One of the main objectives of the African Union is to promote sustainable development in Overlapping and Competing Regional Groupings. But to be appropriate, effective and 'owned' by all the participating governments and their populations, such arrangements can only be achieved through processes of giveand-take in democratic and accommodating negotiations. It is within this context that internal tariffs and non-tariff barriers that could hinder trade between the Partner States have to be eliminated, in order to facilitate formation of one large single market and investment area. October 19, 2004. by Chipo Muvezwa – SANF 04 no 87. The overall strategic objective of re-grouping African countries and (re)integrating the continent was, from the start, a fundamental response to the effects of colonialism, and intrinsic to African struggles against colonialism and against neo-colonialism after 'independence'. Tb provide effective bases for more rounded and viable development, African countries need to be combined within wider, more realistic and rational economic entities. We want these best practices to be replicated in all countries. co-operation in sub-Saharan Africa given the severity of food insecurity in that region and its ambitious objectives for regional integration. NEPAD has been officially endorsed by the African Union although the practical implications have yet to be tested out in practice. They said we should have a quantifiable objective so that we are accountable. Is the regional process driven by political or private (business) actors? Implementation will not be easy because of the high-levels of financing needed as well as the need to harmonize policies between states, but we are on the right path. Similarly, programs to specifically encourage greater intea-regional commercial relations would have to be based not on simple liberalised trade, internal or external, but on preferential and variable trade arrangements. While the objectives of the East African Community are broader and cover almost all spheres of life, the main objective of the Customs Union is formation of a single customs territory. What is the current state of integration? Regional Integration is a process in which neighboring countries enter into an agreement in order to upgrade cooperation through common institutions and rules. According to the perspective of the Yearbook Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa (Volume 8, 2008) Regional integration has been considered an important and successful tool of economic growth and development. The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), which consists of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, is one of the oldest regional groupings in Africa. The best way to solve the energy problem is to have decentralized energy services at the local community level, managed by local communities. For example, we are now the African Union’s technical focal point with development partners such as China, India, the United States, the G20, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). The new index is therefore a framework for assessing the achievements of RECs in These would include financial transfers (plus profit re-investment), technology and management skills transfers, labour training and rights, and health and environmental protections, as well as local production inputs and product-sourcing to create backward and forward linkages with domestic producers. In the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for example, agriculture ministers meet regularly to discuss agricultural transformation in their region. 2 The . What do you mean by that? This was set up in 1991 as a long-term multilateral development project based on cross-border cooperation in all aspects of the economies and societies of the member countries. But other types of 'combined' efforts and agencies would be even more important for deeper and more inclusive, more pervasive and multi-layered development. Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zurich for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Olubomehin D. and Kawonishe D. (2008). The African Union is the most recent practical expression of these declared aims. In this context, the internationally promoted principle of common but differentiated responsibilities according to differing capacities would be expressed, for example, in the greater financial contribution required of South Africa to regional development funds and to other compensatory measures and redistributive mechanisms designed to redress the regional geographical and social imbalances and inequities. They include many that are also small in territory and/or population and partly or totally landlocked, physically located within other countries. This chapter considers the experience of regional integration schemes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). If the consensus is strong...we can have strong agreements and start thinking about an implementation roadmap. And the various sectoral agreements, even if not immediately providing exactly equal gains to all participants at all points, have to reflect a high degree of finely-tuned cross-sectoral trade-offs and overall, longer-term mutual benefits. Regional integration is seen as a rational response to the difficulties faced by a continent with many small national markets and landlocked countries. This would entail programs where, for example, the relative strengths and respective resources of member countries are marshaled in complementary crossborder agro-industrial projects. Regional economic integration is fast becoming a major factor in promoting global business. After independence regional integration became a pillar of Africa’s developmental strategy. achieving an economic union. Such differentiated trade arrangements would, in Southern Africa, have to ensure, above all, that there are gradual, assymetrical and even non-reciprocal processes of market opening between South Africa and the other member countries. "Regional economic integration refers to agreements between countries in a geographic region to reduce, and eventually remove, tariff and non-tariff barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and factors of production between each other" (Hill, 2004). In the interests of social and political harmony, unity and cooperation, such artificial colonial lines must be challenged. Your question is fundamental because regional integration will only progress if national governments—which manage regional bodies—implement regional decisions. It will show that regional integration can help member countries to overcome constraints arising from small domestic markets, and to obtain benefits that can raise productivity and assist in diversifying production and … Regional trading blocs are seen as the building pillars of a stronger Africa as the continent seeks to become a viable trading partner in the global economy. The Africa Renewal information programme provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today. You have announced a plan to create 1 million jobs. Extraction of minerals, extraction of agricultural produce, and so on. This was an internally focused, state-led integration and development plan to be implemented through six phases, each of variable duration, within the regional 'building blocks' over a period of twenty five years, and aimed above all to reduce Africa's external dependencies. These preferential measures could provide the productive resource base and rising production-and-consumption levels for the majority, and thus create a self-reinforcing development dynamic, a continuous upward development spiral for the whole. We see national governments push for regional development strategies. When several regions share a common market, there are no restrictions on immigration and cross-border investment. Further to the above, the unequal natural resource endowments and other uneven levels and forms of economic activities within the respective countries could be addressed through strategically designed complementary and combined programs in agriculture and industry, transport and communications, energy and water, forestry and fisheries and a host of other economic, environmental, social and cultural spheres. This means that, on the grounds of the greater weight and actual/potential impact of the much larger industrialised South African economy (which is about 70% of the combined economies of the whole of SADC), the regional giant would have to open up its markets to its neighbours' exports much more rapidly and generously that it could expect from them in return. 2.4.2.1. National policies as well as regional agreements are required to ensure that private companies - but also national parastatal agencies - and internation investors operate across the region according to agreed development principles and performance criteria. Dr. Mayaki: AUDA has a broader mandate. The more buy-in you have in the design of a project, the less resistance you have during implementation. Her expertise is in financial regulation and integration in emerging economies The article is an edited version of Salami, I., ‘Legal and Institutional Challenges of Economic Integration in Africa’ (2011) 17(5) European Law Journal 667-682. 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