Assessing Regional Integration in Africa

ECA Policy Research Report

image of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa

This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the state of Africa’s integration process, showing where efforts have succeeded or failed including why intra African trade remains low; and how lack of macro-economic policy convergence and insufficient infrastructures hamper integration.



Evolution so far

Regional integration has been part of Africa’s strategy for economic transformation for more than three decades—and in some cases for almost a century. The first experiment with integration, the Southern African Customs Union, began in 1910. The Southern Rhodesia Customs Union emerged in 1949 between South Africa and present-day Zimbabwe. The Ghana–Upper Volta Trade Agreement between Ghana and Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) started in 1962, as did the African Common Market linking Algeria, United Arab Republic (Egypt), Ghana, Guinea, Mali, and Morocco. In 1962 the Equatorial Customs Union, the predecessor to the Customs Union of Central African States, joined Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, and Gabon. The East African Community, comprising Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, began in 1967as perhaps the most far-reaching of early integration attempts in Africa.


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