Assessing Regional Integration in Africa II

Rationalizing Regional Economic Communities

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This report examines the effectiveness of Africa’s regional economic communities in pushing forward the regional integration agenda towards the objectives of the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community. A fully functioning African Economic Community will remove all barriers to movement of people, goods and services across the continent, thereby creating a single economic space. The report examines the critical role that institutions in general can play in achieving policy objectives, and the specific role that African institutions perform. The analysis focuses on the regional economic communities, which have been designated by the African Union as the building blocks for achieving the African Economic Community.



Missing consensus and actions at the national level

Regional economic communities lack dynamism because of the actions—and inactions—of their members. A deeper understanding of the regional economic communities’ situation and the challenges of rationalization is feasible only after exploring how regional integration processes are viewed and implemented at the national level. Agreed integration objectives are not adequately internalized. Delays inratifying regional economic community protocols hamper the timely implementation of decisions. And broad-based support for integration is lacking, with civil society and the private sector acting largely as spectators. Governments must readjust how they are organized to implement their regional agreements.


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