Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VII

Innovation, Competitiveness and Regional Integration

image of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VII
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.



Summary, key messages and policy recommendations

Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VII (ARIA VII) reviews the relationship between regional integration, innovation and competitiveness. These three elements may not at first seem linked, and competitiveness seems more usually related to efforts to integrate national economies into regional arrangements. But closer review reveals several ways the three interact dynamically. By knitting together networks of institutions, people and markets—the essentials setting innovation in motion—even a loose connection between two or more nations is bound to facilitate innovation and related creative activities. The cross-pollination of ideas and experiences greatly benefits innovators, who can use their enhanced knowledge to adapt ideas and apply them to push beyond the current frontiers of innovation— contributing to competitiveness within the bloc.


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