Politics Trumps Economics in Africa’s Regional Integration

ECOWAS representatives meet to discuss a proposal for a shared currency among the group's member states. Dakar, Senegal, September 4, 2015. (Cemil Oksuz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

November 6, 2015

by Moses Onyango & Jean-Marc Trouille

Republished from The Global Observatory

Africa, traditionally the world’s poorest continent, is undergoing profound changes. It has experienced higher than normal economic growth rates for over a decade, bringing benefits such as new infrastructure and improved standards of living. Hoping to sustain this growth, African policymakers have looked to trade liberalization and more integrated markets, with regional bodies at the forefront. While the regional response has considerable promise, member states need to commit to genuine reform to achieve long-term results.

Arming Community Vigilantes in the Niger Delta: Implications for Peacebuilding

October 26, 2015

by Kialee Nyiayaana

Republished from Ashgate

ALC Alumnus Kialee Nyiayaana has a chapter: Arming Community Vigilantes in the Niger Delta: Implications for Peacebuilding in the Book "African Frontiers - Insurgency, Governance and Peacebuilding in Postcolonial States," Edited by John Idriss Lahau and Tanya Lyons.

his chapter explores the complexity and dimensions of arming vigilante groups in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta, which has been confronted with conflicts and insurgencies since the 1990s. It argues that contrary to common assumptions that local communities arm vigilante groups primarily for protection purposes, state governments, local political elites and Multinational Oil Companies with different motives are also involved in arming vigilante groups in the region. The key argument is that since arms availability in villages act as incentives for local hostilities in Nigeria, local communities in the Niger Delta face greater difficulties in sustaining post-conflict intercommunity reconciliation and peace. Accordingly, the continuing availability of weapons in villages in the region problematizes the distinction drawn between conflict zones and post conflict settings.

Download the chapter here

 

African feminists reclaim twitter with #FeministWhilstAfrican

October 22, 2015

By Njoki Wamai

Republished from thisisafrica

The internet is increasingly a space for intellectual debates; with the ability to connect with like-minded people with similar interests, one can find people who enjoy discussing literature, scientific advancements or even the lastest piece of fluff holiday reading. Increased internet and mobile penetration in Africa has provided Africans a space to challenge dominant narratives about the continent often advanced by western media, and African feminists recently had their day when #FeministWhileAfrican was trending.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivers a TEDx presentation entitled, "We Should All Be Feminists." It generated more than two million views from shares on social media platforms like Twitter. Photo: TEDxTalks/YouTube

Schengen and free circulation at the crossroads: lessons for the East African Community?

October 6, 2015

By Moses Onyango and Jean-Marc Trouille:

Republished from Strife

Refugees from Somalia wait to register at Ifo refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Kenya is a member of the EAC, which is on a path to closer integration reminiscent of the one taken by the EU in the lead up to the Schengen agreement. Photo: Internews Europe (CC 2.0)

In many parts of the world, geopolitics is confronted with two contending trends. On the one hand, numerous countries are engaged in a process of regional economic integration, epitomised by the more advanced model of the European Union (EU), which requires ‘internal’ borders between participating states to become more fluid to facilitate the free circulation of goods, services, capital and labour. On the other, borders are regaining momentum. Inherited from colonisation, the post-war or post-cold war status quo, the validity of these borders is now a moot point. From Ukraine to Iraq, Syria, Mali, South Sudan or Nigeria, old borders are questioned, new demarcation lines appear. In Europe, the large influx of refugees has led to very different approaches across EU member states, with some overtly questioning the Schengen agreement on border-free travel.

Inter-regionalism as a Mechanism for the Harmonization of Africa’s Regional Integration Projects

October 05, 2015

By Bappah Habibu Yaya

Republished from CODESRIA

Regional Economic Communities : Exploring the Process of Socio-economic Integration in Africa

Introduction
‘Multiple regionalisms’ are a problem in Africa’s integration process. It refers to the existence of several sub-regional groupings whose objectives and programmes in many instances conflict, thereby complicating the processes of integration on the continent. Most countries in Africa hold membership in at least two different regional groupings (ARIA 2002). There are currently fourteen regional groupings in Africa, with eight recognized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU) as the building blocks of the African Economic Community (AEC). These recognized groupings are collectively referred to as regional economic communities (RECs). They are: the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU); the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); the East African Community (EAC); the Southern African Development Community (SADC); the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD); the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD); and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (Tadesse 2009). The others, such as the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Indian Ocean Commission (OIC) exist alongside, and compete with, the recognized regional groups on the continent. The multiplicity of these sub-regional groupings has caused operational problems in the governance and administration of the African integration processes. There is, firstly, the issue of dispersal of scarce diplomatic, economic and human resources. The mostly poor member states have had to contend with making commitments to these organizations.

Contact us

Nairobi Office:
Jacaranda Avenue PO BOX 25742, 00603, Nairobi
Phone : +254 020 3870225 / +254 0789 387225
Email: info@africanleadershipcentre.org

London Office:
School of Global Affairs,
Chesham Building, Room 12B
King's College London, Strand Campus Strand, London WC2R 2LS
Phone: +44 20 7848 1984
Email: alc@kcl.ac.uk

 

Follow us

Partner Institutions