Acta Universitatis Danubius. Relationes Internationales, Vol 8, No 2 (2015)

Integration of Regional Economic Communities as Panacea for Africa’s Economic Growth: Lessons from Comparative Models

Abiodun Odusote



This paper reinforces the thesis that integration of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is essential for Africa’s economic growth.  It analyses the African Union’s current strategy towards the integration of the Regional Economic Communities across the continent. Its findings reveal that the African Union has made several efforts to promote full economic integration within the Regional Economic Communities including by way of treaties and Protocols. Without undermining the very modest gains to the economic growth of Africa, resulting from these approaches, available literature suggests that there are many challenges facing the integration of Regional Economic Communities. The challenges include apathy, divided loyalty and suspicion among members.  The consequence of these challenges has been slow and minimal economic integration over the years.  The paper argues that for an effective integration of economies across the African Continent, a comparative analysis of key models of the European and Asian continents offer valuable lessons. This paper draws from these two models to interrogate the stalling AU integration model and concludes by recommending how some of the manifold challenges facing the full economic integration of RECs across Africa can be eliminated.





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