Making policies work

Political economy dynamics of regional organisations in Africa: Phase II (PEDRO II)


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How much traction do the African Union (AU) and regional organisations have over different agendas? In return, what shapes how African states engage with the AU and regional organisations? What role can the AU play in the international arena and what shapes its ability to speak with one voice? What are the challenges of promoting a continental governance agenda, or to ensure the benefits of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are realised?

The second phase of our work on the political economy dynamics of regional organisations in Africa (PEDRO II) focuses on the AU and, in particular, looks at the following main areas:

  • the AfCFTA implementation process
  • the African Governance Architecture (AGA), in particular its links to peace and security, and
  • the AU as an international actor.

The PEDRO II project, carried out with support from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), started in 2020 and runs until mid-2021.

Get in touch

For more information and feedback on our work on regional integration, contact Bruce Byiers at bby@ecdpm.org.


Publications for the PEDRO II project


The AU-UN peace and security partnership: Power and politics
Lidet Tadesse Shiferaw, ECDPM paper, September 2021

Merging peace and politics: Drivers, dilemmas and options for the AU’s new governance setup
Martin Ronceray, Lidet Tadesse Shiferaw and Ueli Staeger, ECDPM paper, June 2021

Africa Day: The AU’s role in African and global affairs – Part 2
Bruce Byiers, Poorva Karkare, Alfonso Medinilla and Amanda Bisong, ECDPM commentary, 31 May 2021

Africa Day: The AU’s role in African and global affairs – Part 1
Philomena Apiko, Lidet Tadesse and Martin Ronceray, ECDPM commentary, 21 May 2021

The AfCFTA: From institutional structures to private sector engagement
Catherine Makokera Grant and Bruce Byiers, ECDPM commentary, 12 April 2021

AUDA-NEPAD: Does money and focus equal ownership and trade?
Ueli Staeger and Bruce Byiers, ECDPM commentary, 22 March 2021

African Union Summit and elections: Something old, something new
Bruce Byiers and Philomena Apiko, ECDPM commentary, 8 February 2021

Connecting people and markets in Africa in 2021
Niklas Mayer and Amanda Bisong, ECDPM commentary, 8 February 2021

The African Union: What role in tackling Africa’s challenges?
Philomena Apiko, Martin Ronceray, Luckystar Miyandazi, Bruce Byiers, Alfonso Medinilla, Lidet Tadesse and Valeria Pintus, ECDPM guide, February 2021.

Explore it here:

The African Union: What role in tackling Africa's challenges?

The promise of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
Philomena Apiko, Sean Woolfrey and Bruce Byiers, ECDPM paper, December 2020

The African Union should work on policy implementation to realise its ambitions
Luckystar Miyandazi for the ‘Africa at LSE’ blog, 2 December 2020

Election watch: The race for African Union top posts
Luckystar Miyandazi and Philomena Apiko, ECDPM brief, November 2020


Related projects


PEDRO: The political economy dynamics of regional organisations in Africa (2016-2018)

Building on the PERIA project, the PEDRO project looked into the political economy dynamics of 17 regional organisations in Africa.

Mapping regional organisations in Africa

Africa is home to numerous regional organisations, such as economic communities, river basin organisations, power pools, and more. On average, African countries are members of 6 regional organisations, with certain countries having joined up to 14.

Key to understanding the role and effectiveness of the AU and regional organisations is to understand how states use different memberships for different purposes. In the course of our work for the PEDRO project, we developed an interactive map to illustrate the numerous memberships. It covers 40 African organisations for regional cooperation and integration.

Discover which countries belong to which organisations and navigate the complex landscape of overlaps:

For more information on PEDRO, visit the project dossier.


PERIA: The political economy of regional integration in Africa (2014-2016)

The PERIA project, undertaken with Palladium and funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi, looked at six of Africa’s largest regional organisations: the African Union (AU), COMESA, EAC, ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC, to understand what blocks or drives regional integration in Africa, and the role that regional organisations play in this.

For more information on PERIA, visit the project dossier.


PERISA: The political economy of regional integration in Southern Africa (2012-2013)
In 2012 and 2013, ECDPM and SAIIA partnered to take stock of key political and economic actors and factors that drive regional cooperation and effective integration in a rapidly changing global environment.

Fore more information on PERISA, visit the project page.