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. In Southern Africa, the regional integration grouping is the thirteen-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC). How will you achieve that? "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). 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. Inter-governmental cooperation is the fundamental means for creating multi-national entities and processes. You have reiterated that regional bodies play a bigger role in Africa’s development. At another level, the promotion of greater equity through compensatory programs and redistributive measures can be a major force for economic development. And the functional significance of such borders can be reduced through the expansion, deepening and increasing significance of cross-border programs and activities. In the current global uncertainty, we need to increase trading within our regional markets; otherwise we won’t tackle our development challenges. 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. 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 But such greater levels of responsibility would also rest on all of the stronger member governments to ensure that 'their' companies do not reinforce or aggravate the existing economic imbalances through aggressive or predatory business tactics in other countries within the community. The best way to solve the energy problem is to have decentralized energy services at the local community level, managed by local communities. 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. For example, when we deliver in agriculture, we also look at water, energy, land, etc. How do you ensure that national governments implement AU projects? 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. As a result, African governments have concluded a very large number of regional integration arrangements, several … 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. 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. We see national governments push for regional development strategies. These are excerpts: Africa Renewal: What are the main differences between AUDA and NEPAD? There is now a division of labour between the AU Commission, the Regional Economic Communities and AUDA in implementing the AU’s strategic frameworks at the national and regional levels. Doesn’t Africa need more than 1 million new jobs? Regional integration is fundamentally based on solidarity, and we know that solidarity is not only moral. 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. 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. We need to make sure that there is coherence between regional strategies and national plans. 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. The political objectives of regional integration range from promoting common political values and systems, strengthening legitimate and democratic institutions … the words? 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. 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. For example, countries that share a free trade area allow for the free flow of goods, services, capital and labor. You can have the big strategy, but in terms of implementation, in terms of innovation, it must come from the bottom. These would be public-public partnerships, that is between governmental and parastatal enterprises and institutions and public trusts, and cooperatives, worker/ employee collectives, community-based, mutual aid, and other forms of popular collective self-organisation and joint endeavours. That’s where our role becomes important. One of the critical factors of success in regional integration is having everybody on board. The aim of regional integration is to uplift the least developed countries, and this is the beauty of the African Union. Similarly, policies relating to trade between the Partner States and o… 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. This article was published in GREAT Insights Volume 1, Issue 1 They can, for a start, be eroded through the greater freedom of movement of African people. 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). However, there are still lessons to be drawn from successful . The growing interest in regionalism at a time when tariff barriers are becoming less and less important in world trade (despite well-known It reverses that trend of extractive-based infrastructure by focusing on regional projects and transport corridors that ease movement and spur development. Are there often tensions between regional institutions and national governments? But agricultural productivity will not increase if the energy issue is not addressed. Regional Integration is a process in which neighboring countries enter into an agreement in order to upgrade cooperation through common institutions and rules. The economies structured by colonial interests were internally distorted (socially and economically) and disarticulated (lacking internal linkages and dynamics) and excessively extroverted (turned outwards). 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. The money we get from the African Union is rarely used for projects in Egypt, South Africa or Nigeria. The ambitious and transformative aims outlined above clearly require public planning and regulation. 'Above all, it would require variable tariff structures and self-selected rates of tariff reduction /retention by participating countries, taking into account their different commercial, production and other capacities and economic, social and other vulnerabilities. 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. The primary objective of the Protocol establishing the Customs Union is to facilitate inter and intra regional trade in goods. cal means of popular containment or control. 2.4.2.1. 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). However, we want to harness best practices regarding SME creation, incubation centres, protection of intellectual property, financing of SMEs by national development banks, conducive environment, incentives, and others. After independence regional integration became a pillar of Africa’s developmental strategy. 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. This chapter considers the experience of regional integration schemes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). 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. Therefore, trade is at the core of the Customs Union. AUDA will also focus on resource mobilisation and the connections between sectors to avoid a siloed approach, which as you know is a key aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 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. Look at our infrastructure in pre-independence Africa, and even before. However, despite their internal weaknesses and fragilities, many African countries have, especially since independence, developed their own national identities. 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. In an interview with Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor in New York Dr. Mayaki spoke on AUDA’s role in Africa’s development agenda and discussed regional integration and his agency’s plan to create a million jobs. Assessing Regional Integration in Africa. 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. 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. Tb provide effective bases for more rounded and viable development, African countries need to be combined within wider, more realistic and rational economic entities. 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 Southern Africa in particular, with its comparatively small economies, r egional integration was meant to play a There are, however, many overlapping 'regional integration' groupings in Africa pursuing differing and even competing programs, particularly in the trade sphere. On the other hand, there are also real political, social and cultural commonalities and shared experiences amongst the people within the new African nations. 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. The African Development Bank tells us that 60% of our SMEs have less than 20 employees and the other 40% have less than 10. Its creation was one result of the AU reforms championed by Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, former chairperson of the AU. No, it cannot be top-down, because none of the frameworks will work if you do not empower the local communities. and gender . Given AUDA-NEPAD’s new development focus, what hopes do you have for regional integration on the continent? 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. The problem is how regional decisions essentially derived from continental frameworks are implemented country by country. Such aims and methods cannot and will not be promoted by 'market forces' which function according to different business profitability' criteria and narrow time-frames and through competitive not cooperative processes. Economic development would then be facilitated through the creation of economies of scale - that is, larger-scale production programs and markets, and greater cost-effectiveness and efficiencies especially through shared infrastructural systems. Is the regional process driven by political or private (business) actors? Also, our budget is approved by AU member states. But it simultaneously promotes both an internally liberalised integration within Africa and an externally "open and rapid integration of Africa into the global economy". We want these best practices to be replicated in all countries. This would entail the democratic negotiation and creation, the co-existence and coordination of varying but overlapping sub-groupings of countries, where demanded, in different sectors and spheres of cooperation and within differing frameworks and timetables. What is the current state of integration? 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. 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. Governments cannot sit back and allow laissez faire freedom to private companies to pursue damaging and divisive operations over their borders. The African Union is the most recent practical expression of these declared aims. In the interests of social and political harmony, unity and cooperation, such artificial colonial lines must be challenged. Multiple and Overlapping of Membership ... One of the main objectives of the African Union is to promote sustainable development in African social movement analysts and activists hear constant references by their governments to the importance of African unity and cooperation. For example, you know that access to electricity in Africa is very low—more than 60% of our rural population has no access to electricity. They said we should have a quantifiable objective so that we are accountable. 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. 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. This would entail programs where, for example, the relative strengths and respective resources of member countries are marshaled in complementary crossborder agro-industrial projects. 20 million jobs for now the economic Community ( AEC ) program decisions essentially derived from continental are. Million jobs, but SADC was not originally conceived as a result, African governments concluded. 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