16-17 November 2017 / International Meeting on Africa and regional integration – Sgezed – HUNGARY.

3-4 November 2017 / International symposium «History of Peacekeeping : New Perspectives » à Kingston CANADA
8 December 2017
23-26 janvier 2018 / International conference “Shared Heritage”, Heidelberg Stuttgart, .GERMANY
28 December 2017

16-17 November 2017 / International Meeting on Africa and regional integration – Sgezed – HUNGARY.

Regional integration communities in Africa :

Towards a New Deal of South-South Cooperation

Dr Hadhri Paper Abstract

The African continent is known for its traditional debates on pan- African political and economic unity. However, until the 1990s none of the integration projects and experiences started since the sixty and seventy years showed any sustainable success. Instead, the region belonged to those parts of the world where regionalization lagged and remained at a very low level. Nevertheless, in the context of globalization and regionalism, the view that regional integration will be pivotal to the prosperity of the area remains relevant for most policy makers in Africa. The creation of an African economic Community would therefore have a multiplier eff ect on the separate policies pursued by each country individually.

Following an aborted early phase of integration in 1980 under the Lagos plan, regional cooperation in Africa began in earnest with the Abuja Treaty in 1994, which set ambitious and wide-ranging objectives that reflected the need to accommodate heterogeneity of interests across the continent. Progress would be achieved by integration within regional economic communities (RECs) that would, through closer economic and political ties, lead to a united economy: the African Economic Community to be achieved in the horizon of 2025.

This integration process, resting on a high implementation capability, was spread over a 50-year period and involved the creation of many regional economic communities and groupings. African RECs have set up a large number of institutions at early stages of integration such as :

 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
 The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA
 the East African Community (EAC)
 The SADC in South African region
 The COMESA East and south Africa
 The Arab Maghreb Union in north Africa
However, drawing on indicators along multiple dimensions (geographic, economic, cultural, and institutional), and comparing to three other South–South regional integration arrangements: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and MERCOSUR, the Common Market of the South, the African regional integration is still facing many challenges and obstacles.

In sum, the establishment of functioning supranational entities to carry out this integration requires a delegation of authority (to confront the trade-off between the benefits of common policies and the costs of a loss of sovereignty in policy decisions). Successful implementation requires capabilities and trust which are difficult to build under any circumstance, but particularly so in Africa’s landscape of great diversity.