Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VII

Innovation, Competitiveness and Regional Integration

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The seventh edition of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA VII) examines how the three elements of regional integration, innovation and competitiveness are interlinked. It explores the prospects for harnessing them within the framework of Africa’s normative regional integration development model oriented to foster structural change. Evidence presented in ARIA VII for a sample of 15 African countries for the period between 1995 and 2010 shows that growth in most of the sample countries has been achieved through factor accumulation rather than through significant improvements with input combinations that are associated with innovation. Based on theoretical and empirical insights, the report makes recommendations as to how further regional integration boost Africa’s capacity for innovation and competitiveness. In addition, the report provides an overview of regional integration trends in Africa, including an analysis of data from the African Regional Integration Index.




Regional integration, innovation and competitiveness interact dynamically. By bringing networks of people, institutions and markets together—the main functions that set innovation in motion—even a loose arrangement between two or more nations is bound to spur innovation and related creative activities. The cross-pollination of ideas and experiences greatly benefits innovators, who can use their enhanced knowledge to adapt and apply innovation—and to push beyond its current frontiers— contributing to competitiveness within economic blocs.


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