Regional integration in Africa is not just about politics, but economics. The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, summarises the key points from their recent Development Report 2014 in this guest blog.
On behalf of the Swedish embassy in Nairobi, ECDPM and its partner theIDLgroup are undertaking a political economy study in order to better identify and support opportunities for regional cooperation.
Regional integration has always appealed to Africa’s leaders. The unity of Africa was a rallying cry during the independence decade, seen by many as the key means to catapult countries onto the path of steady growth and development. Many other arguments have of course been made for regional integration including: providing access to the sea for Africa’s many landlocked countries, limiting the extent of external shocks on fragile economies, and preventing internecine conflict, with larger economic entities serving as agents of restraint.
In a rapidly globalising world, Africa’s integration has become as important an economic argument as it was a political one in the past. Countries are striving to achieve the scale economies they need to compete and link to global value chains.
Read more at ECDPM