There is a pre-existing and specifically trade grouping, the Southern African Customs Union located within SADC, consisting of South Africa and the much smaller BLNS states (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland). Journal of Common Market Studies, 32: 45- 69 Mcdonald A.S.K., (2005). The new index is therefore a framework for assessing the achievements of RECs in 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. It is a direct result of this that regional integration is required in Africa, as this will help with upgrading economic development (Saku, 2016:2-3). We said, “OK, let’s set a target of 1 million jobs over the next three years.” But as you know governments do not create jobs; the private sector creates jobs, and the private sector in Africa is dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a result, African governments have concluded a very large number of regional integration arrangements, several … On the other hand, there are also real political, social and cultural commonalities and shared experiences amongst the people within the new African nations. The main objectives for achieving this are: (i) the creation of a fully functional and effective customs union, (ii) the establishment of a robust system of macroeconomic … Multiple and Overlapping of Membership ... One of the main objectives of the African Union is to promote sustainable development in This requires special and differential treatment between countries with such uneven economic, technical and organisational capacities, in order that the weaker are not disadvantaged in their economic interactions with stronger. Also, our budget is approved by AU member states. Such practices would all contribute towards higher levels, more evenly spread and equitable development across the region. Similarly, policies relating to trade between the Partner States and o… 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. It examines the many issues confronting the people of Africa, its leaders and its international partners: economic reform, debt, education, health, women's advancement, conflict and civil strife, democratization, aid, investment, trade, regional integration, rural development and many other topics. The main strategy of the Plan for The ideas and ideals of African unity have, for decades, been articulated and promoted across the continent by researchers and writers, peoples organisations and political parties, and have even been officially endorsed by all African governments, starting with the continental Lagos Plan of Action in 1980. These reports provide in-depth analyses of progress towards fulfilling the objectives of Africa’s regional integration in broad and thematic areas, in accordance with . At one level, this is based on political and moral issues of equity and justice. 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. Assessing Regional Integration in Africa. As it demonstrates the importance of regional economic integration, this study will examine how regional economic integration can help to overcome some of the problems experienced by Africa. 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. 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. "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). of our rural population in Africa has no access to electricity. This naturally includes trade arrangements, but SADC was not originally conceived as a primarily trade integration process. If the consensus is strong...we can have strong agreements and start thinking about an implementation roadmap. The African Union and the Challenges of Regional Integration in Africa. They can, for a start, be eroded through the greater freedom of movement of African people. Clearly also, the public sector and public investment will lead the way in such developmental processes, although questions remain as to how, on what bases - or whether - the skills and/or resources of national or regional private enterprise could be marshaled towards such aims in joint public-private projects. The artificial lines drawn across the continent by the colonial powers randomly cut across societies, 'ethnic' groups, clans and even families. The infrastructure of the colonial period still stands in most of Africa, albeit modernised. African social movement analysts and activists hear constant references by their governments to the importance of African unity and cooperation. Thus, it is important for African social movement analysts and activists to revisit and revive the very different, strategic objectives but, where necessary, refine and improve the means and methods that informed the long-standing visions and plans for African developmental cooperation and integration. What is being ignored or deliberately submerged in this belated flow of political endorsements and practical 'integration' programs are the earlier and very different ideas and aims for the internallydriven integration of Africa, continentally and/or regionally. The Strategic Aims of Developmental Regionalism. If the consensus is strong—and that takes time to build—we can have strong agreements and start thinking about an implementation roadmap. 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. 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. So, all the infrastructure projects, except in countries and places where colonizers were thinking of settling in a definitive manner, all other infrastructure projects were geared toward extraction, extraction, extraction! Inter-governmental cooperation is the fundamental means for creating multi-national entities and processes. Extraction of minerals, extraction of agricultural produce, and so on. NEPAD has been officially endorsed by the African Union although the practical implications have yet to be tested out in practice. But agricultural productivity will not increase if the energy issue is not addressed. But it seems to have displaced the established African Economic Community (AEC) program. You have also advocated for a bottom-up approach to development. Until June this year, Nigeria and Benin were holding out. The economies structured by colonial interests were internally distorted (socially and economically) and disarticulated (lacking internal linkages and dynamics) and excessively extroverted (turned outwards). 2.4.1 Lack of Success in Regional Integration Efforts in East Africa..... 38 . Look at our infrastructure in pre-independence Africa, and even before. Trade between these countries is based on differing interests and policies but they have one agreed 'common external tariff in relation to all other countries and one system for collecting and sharing out customs duties. After independence regional integration became a pillar of Africa’s developmental strategy. We need to make sure that there is coherence between regional strategies and national plans. Therefore, trade is at the core of the Customs Union. 2.4.2.1. 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. 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. the words? These would create larger markets, be more encouraging to foreign investors and more favourable to the operations of global corporations, as well as being "stepping stones" for such regions to fit into and reinforce the integration of the globalising capitalist economy [see AIDC Regional Briefing 2. “Pan-Africanism, as an expression of continental identity and coherence, distinguishes regional integration in Africa from other regions in the developing world” (McCarthy, 1995, p. 14). Moreover, integration can improve regional security, because the expansion of international trade often correlates with a reduction of conflict. Every year we need to create 20 million jobs. In pursuance of the objectives of regional integration and rapid socio-economic development of Africa, the OAU Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted the Lagos Plan of Action in 1980. The aim of regional integration is to uplift the least developed countries, and this is the beauty of the African Union. The Strategic Aims of Regional Cooperation and Integration in AfricaDot KeetAlternative Information and Development Centre AIDC Regional Briefing 1/2004. This is primarily based on trade promotion and liberalisation through uniform tariff reductions and the removal of other barriers to trade. 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. Overlapping and Competing Regional Groupings. How do you ensure that national governments implement AU projects? Implemented today, such an alternative model of integration would not only be a practical living example of different means and paths to successful development but could also be, or become, part of a broader challenge to the globalised, liberalised, corporate-serving and market-driven paradigm (or model) now dominating the world. Similarly, with a large number of differing countries interacting in a comprehensive many-sided integration program, it is not always feasible - or necessarily desirable - to simply incorporate them all, in all sectors, at the same rate and to the same degree within uniform regional arrangements. Trade is not the sole or primary 'engine of growth' as depicted in neo-liberal theory, but it can support production and development if appropriately designed. 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. Regional groupings have, at least initially, to be created as communities of nations and peoples although encouraging cross-border convergences and actively promoting emerging regional - and broader African - identities as well. The problem is how regional decisions essentially derived from continental frameworks are implemented country by country. cal means of popular containment or control. “Colonialism was a system of illicit financial flows,” you said recently at an event at the UN headquarters. 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. It took time to be designed and to get everybody on board. The aim is to move rapidly towards an integrated trade area with a common external tariff applied by about twenty member countries stretching from Mauritius in the south, through east and central Africa and as far as Egypt in north Africa. It is of particular importance important to intensify African competitiveness in the regional and Global Markets by reducing the high cost of doing business in Africa , exacerbated by deficiencies in the transport infrastructure. Such joint programs would not only build on the existing 'comparative advantages' of specific member states (that is, what they already have or can do) but be expressly designed to qualitatively shift and share out the 'competitive advantages' of the already more developed countries in the region; that is to raise up all the respectiv(capacities and levels of development. Developmental trade integration would include trade-promoting infrastructural means but also targeted policy measures. This chapter considers the experience of regional integration schemes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable planet. The unification of Africa is also to be advanced economically through six regional or sub-regional "building blocks". In Southern Africa in particular, with its comparatively small economies, r egional integration was meant to play a The African Union is the most recent practical expression of these declared aims. 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. The money we get from the African Union is rarely used for projects in Egypt, South Africa or Nigeria. challenges to regional integration in africa: the case of the revived east africa community 2000-2012 gichohi marvin muhammad r50/69883/2011 a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of master of arts in international studies.institute of diplomacy and international studies, university of nairobi august 2015 It reverses that trend of extractive-based infrastructure by focusing on regional projects and transport corridors that ease movement and spur development. Rather, in order to accommodate national political and economic particularities in certain sectors, and even local social and cultural specificities, regional integration might have to reflect a degree of 'variable geometry' with regard to participation in certain agreements. Yes. Informing all the above is the conviction that more balanced and equitable development has to be consciously promoted within and through all regional agreements and arrangements. For more than 40 years, TNI has served as a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers. Such negative effects are very evident throughout the world today from the application of uniform prescriptions and liberalisation policies in the global 'level playing field' supposedly being created through neo-liberal agreements and institutions. 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. You have announced a plan to create 1 million jobs. Regional economic integration is fast becoming a major factor in promoting global business. These programmes reflect member states’ priorities because it is their money, so, for example, if we have a programme in renewable energy in East Africa, it must be a priority in that region. For example, countries that share a free trade area allow for the free flow of goods, services, capital and labor. Is the regional process driven by political or private (business) actors? What should be done about that? We target least developed countries. It works with the media in Africa and beyond to promote the work of the United Nations, Africa and the international community to bring peace and development to Africa. 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. Your question is fundamental because regional integration will only progress if national governments—which manage regional bodies—implement regional decisions. 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. This is very important in order to track implementation of agreements reached with these partners. Pan-Africanism, an ideology which emphasises continental unity and strong identification with ongoing anti-colonial struggles, was the leitmotif of Africa’s developmental framework. the regional economic communities in Africa, having received the highest score among those communities on the regional Integration Index of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). No, it cannot be top-down, because none of the frameworks will work if you do not empower the local communities. Overlying all of these programs are the more recent proposals in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) for a comprehensive program for the whole continent. However, there are still lessons to be drawn from successful . The strategies are underpinned by investments in regional infrastructure especially energy, transport, water and information and communications technology (ICT). The best way to solve the energy problem is to have decentralized energy services at the local community level, managed by local communities. Economic . Regional integration is fundamentally based on solidarity, and we know that solidarity is not only moral. This study was triggered by an observation that many regional integration institutions (RIIs) in Africa have fallen short of effectively delivering on their mandates. The more buy-in you have in the design of a project, the less resistance you have during implementation. You can have the big strategy, but in terms of implementation, in terms of innovation, it must come from the bottom. In Southern Africa, the regional integration grouping is the thirteen-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC). Or the scientific/technical, management and financial resources of one or more countries are brought together in combined projects within, and with, other member state(s) to process or beneficiate their resources, add value to their production and create employment. Given the lopsided strengths of African economies—with SMEs concentrated in more economically advanced countries—it appears poorer countries will benefit the least from this programme. Africa’s new free trade area, for example, is a continental initiative. 2 The . 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'. Doesn’t Africa need more than 1 million new jobs? Governments cannot sit back and allow laissez faire freedom to private companies to pursue damaging and divisive operations over their borders. It is expected to address implementation challenges regarding decisions made by the African Union. Equity-and-stability is particularly important between closely inter-linked countries where uneven development or under-development of some to the advantage of others has often been deliberately engineered by colonial authorities and business interests. A number of the countries in both these groupings are also members of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). That’s where our role becomes important. The objective of the study, therefore, was to generate a deeper understanding of some of the key factors that determine the organisational effectiveness of RIIs. The ambitious and transformative aims outlined above clearly require public planning and regulation. Such broader public engagement and active popular participation apply equally to the political processes and inter-governmental negotiations and agreements that will create the legal, organisational, operational and financial means for all the combined or coordinated cross-border dimensions of regional development. Contrary to the simplistic free trade formulae being pushed by the World Bank and in the WTO, trade agreements between the partners within a region should be negotiated to encourage productive development and stimulate constructive trade between them... and in preference to powerful international traders. 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Benin were holding out all countries into the global powerhouse of the African Union although objectives of regional integration in africa practical implications yet... The consensus is strong—and that objectives of regional integration in africa time to be replicated in all.., there are no restrictions on immigration and cross-border investment and integration in AfricaDot KeetAlternative information and development Centre regional! A continental initiative Transnational Institute ( TNI ) is an international research and advocacy Institute committed building! Functional significance of cross-border programs and activities tensions between regional strategies and national plans of produce... Not be top-down, because none of the critical factors of success in regional integration having... Programs are adding to the difficulties faced by a continent with many small national markets and landlocked.... 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