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Political Economy of Regional integration in Africa

What drives and constrains regional organisations
Synthesis report
January 2016

18 mars 2019

Regional cooperation and regional integration are deemed vital to tackle development challenges that cannot be solved at the national level. In Africa, many such challenges affect poor people’s lives in areas ranging from human security and mobility to rural livelihoods, trade, infrastructure, food security, environment and climate change.
Regional cooperation and integration have long been high on the agenda of African countries, regions and regional organisations to address these issues. Burgeoning regional policies, strategies and protocols have been matched by widening ambitions and mandates in most regional organisations, often supported by donor-financed expansions in budgets, staff and programmes. Yet policy-makers, member state representatives and non-state actors frequently express frustration with the gap between commitments and what takes place on the ground. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Nkosazana Zuma, herself has said : “I don’t think Africa is short of policies. We have to implement, that is where the problem is”.
The challenge is to understand the underlying political and economic factors that really drive and hinder progress on regional integration.