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Research Report


Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 2014
Pages: 69
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 6-8)

    The main objectives of the Cape Town seminar were to enhance understanding of region-building and regional integration processes in Africa; to advance African efforts to promote peace, security, and socioeconomic development on the continent; and to strengthen the capacities of institutional frameworks for intra-continental trade, including through improved coordination between the African Union (AU) and the continent’s sub-regional bodies. ¹

    Region-building is commonly defined as the effort by states in a common region to cooperate in ways that enhance their political, economic, social, security, and cultural integration. In general, regional integration in Africa requires strengthening the capacity of individual states...

  2. (pp. 9-14)

    The African Union’s efforts to institutionalise a collective voice for its members could enhance political cooperation among African countries, and increase their leverage at multilateral fora such as the United Nations (UN) Security Council and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). However, Africa’s attempts to deepen economic integration through the creation of free trade areas (FTAs), and customs and monetary unions, have achieved comparatively little success. 17 Africa remains the only continent on which a mere 12 percent of total trade is conducted among regional states. Most African countries continue to export raw materials and cash crops, thus creating a continental...

  3. (pp. 15-19)

    It was Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, in embracing a continental vision for political unity among African countries, who advocated the adoption of a pan-African vision that incorporated regional integration for the entire African continent. 45 In 1961, Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first post-independence president, argued for initiatives towards regional integration in East Africa. 46 This period was known as the first wave of region-building and regional integration in Africa. However, the pan-African vision was overtaken by the development of autonomous national administrations and a growing sentiment among African leaders to preserve colonially inherited economic structures. In this context, it was...

  4. (pp. 20-23)

    The Southern African Development Coordination Conference was created in 1980 to promote solidarity in efforts to decolonise the sub-region in opposition to apartheid South Africa. In 1992, SADCC reconstituted itself as the Southern African Development Community. SADC, which now has 15 members,72 adopted a range of regional integration protocols, including the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) in 2003 and the Spatial Development Initiatives in 1996. A sub-regional free trade agreement was launched in August 2008, and a customs union was to be established by 2010, but both have been delayed. The proposed implementation of a common market by 2015...

  5. (pp. 24-27)

    Following West Africa’s independence from colonial rule, most of its newly sovereign states remained within the spheres of influence of their former colonial powers: France, Britain, and Portugal. This exacerbated divisions among the fledgling African nations, with the neo-colonial role of France in the sub-region in particular perpetuating the split between francophone and anglophone states. West Africa’s new states also had to address their own internal problems. In 1967, the Eastern region seceded as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a bloody three-year civil war. Following the end of this conflict, security was critical to the creation of the Economic Community...

  6. (pp. 28-29)

    The AMU is based on a trade agreement that seeks to strengthen political and economic cooperation, and unity, among its five member states. In 1994, members agreed to establish a sub-regional free trade zone, though this was never implemented. Many of the more than 90 million inhabitants of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia favour the free movement of goods, services, and people across national borders in the Maghreb. The five AMU member countries, which have a combined GDP of $414 billion, share a cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage, as well as structural links to the dominant former colonial power...

  7. (pp. 30-35)

    The European Union is an economic and political union of 28 member states110 established by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, 111 which entered into force in 1993. The 2007 Treaty of Lisbon, which was implemented in 2009, is the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the European Union. The EU operates through a system of independent institutions and inter-governmental decisions by its member states. The organisation has grown in size, through the accession of new member states, and in power, through the addition of policies that have created a single market for the free movement of people, goods, services,...

  8. (pp. 36-39)

    The initial aim of the ECSC was to provide a framework to produce and market coal and steel across Europe, to prevent destructive competition, and ultimately to regulate and end tariffs and border controls. In fostering transnational interdependence in one area, the ECSC created the possibility of interdependence in other areas through “spill-over effects” for political cooperation in security initiatives. 130 Since the end of the Cold War, the advent of the “new regionalism” debates has generated an expansion of ideas associated with a non–state centric view of region-building in which the role played by international organisations, civil society...