Dinka, T, Kennes, W.1 2007. Africa's Regional Integration Arrangements: History and Challenges (ECDPM Discussion Paper 74). Maastricht
From the dawn of the independence era, virtually all African countries have embraced regionalism. This commitment to regionalism was part and parcel of the broader aspiration of continental integration, a vision that led to the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The recent transformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU) has significantly strengthened the movement towards the goal of Pan-African political and economic union. However, the new setup at the continental level leads to the question of how the regional and sub-regional initiatives and the AU can become mutually reinforcing.
In addition to the regional initiatives within Africa there have been proposals and actual negotiations aimed at establishing North-South integration arrangements between Africa and developed countries or regions. These include the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) presently being negotiated between four groups of African countries and the European Union (EU). At the global level, almost all African countries became members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or applied for membership.
Key Purpose of ECDPM Study
Against this background, this discussion paper provides a brief summary of the history of regional integration in Africa and a thematic review of the constraints at country and regional levels that determine the progress (or lack thereof) of regional integration, and lastly, discusses the linkages between the regions and the global economy.
Key Findings of ECDPM