Regional Integration

  • Body: 
    To accelerate their industrialisation in the face of tough global competition, West African countries must leverage their comparative and competitive advantages. Several strategies are available to them. The first is integration into global value chains, by initially developing low added value and labour intensive activities before gradually moving upmarket in the value chain. A second strategy is based on the transformation of local products, such as mango, shea, cashew and textiles. A third strategy is that of regional value chains, which focuses on local production of goods for regional markets. Read on
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    From 7 to 8 June, ECOWAS and the World Bank organised a workshop in Accra as part of the Improved and Facilitated Trade in West Africa project. Representatives of UEMOA and the European Union also took part in the discussions. The workshop revolved around several issues related to the easing of trade in the maid trade corridors in the region, especially those that connect landlocked countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger) to coastal countries (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana). Read on
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    A native of Pobè in Benin, Marcel Alain de Souza took office as the new President of the ECOWAS Commission on 8 April, succeeding Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso. Benin was designated to chair the Commission at the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on 17 December 2015. Read on
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    On the occasion of African Development Week, held from 31 March to 5 April in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched the 2016 edition of the Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) Report. The index is intended to take stock of progress on regional integration in eight regional economic communities (RECs) through 16 indicators covering five major areas: trade integration, productive integration, regional infrastructure, free movement of people, and financial integration. Read on
  • Opinion: 
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    In an interview with the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), NEPAD CEO Ibrahim Mayaki analyses the dynamics of industrialisation in Africa and explains the challenges facing West Africa in this area. Industrialisation in the sub-region lags significantly behind the two major industrial regions that make up North Africa on the one hand and Southern and East Africa on the other. Read on
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    As part of its programme “Le Grand Débat”, the Pan-African radio channel, Africa N°1, dedicated a special issue to the future of African cities. Senior Economist Philipp Heinrigs of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) presented key findings from the most recent update of the Africapolis study, which provides a comprehensive and comparable dataset on urbanisation in West Africa. Read on
  • Opinion: 
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    To what extent does UEMOA encourage trade and financial integration? How do UEMOA countries compare to other sub-Saharan African countries in terms of macroeconomic stability? Has UEMOA’s fixed exchange rate regime impeded competitiveness? And how has UEMOA promoted economic convergence among member countries? Amadou Sy and Mariama Sow provide some answers to these key questions in an article posted on the Brookings blog. Read on
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    On 11 and 12 March in Bamako, member states of the G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) jointly organised with UNDP and Japan, and in partnership with the government of Mali, an international conference on border management and border communities in the Sahel. Read on
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    An international team of scholars has launched an ambitious new research project on regional integration and international trade in Africa. Based at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, the African Governance and Space (AFRIGOS) programme examines the "respacing" of the continent through the political drive for integration and the reimagining of Africa's engagement with the global economy. Read on
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    SWAC: 
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    In his blog post, SWAC Secretariat Director Laurent Bossard draws attention to two opposing visions of the African continent: on the one hand, the African Union's administrative organisation is based on the establishment of five major regions within which national borders freely allow production, trade and friendship to flourish between peoples; on the other, development partners and the international community tend to deal with sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa separately. Read on

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