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Conference Echoes

Mthuli Ncube, African Development Bank Chief Economist and Vice-President

This event takes place at a time when Africa has experienced an unprecedented growth and is poised to become the next growth pole. Over the last decade, six out of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in Africa. Africa’s middle class is also burgeoning and is expected to grow to 1.1 billion by 2050, form the current 355 million. New technologies have enabled African countries to leapfrog the rest of the world. Read more

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Africa

The human face of regional integration in Africa

Regional integration is crucial for Africa’s development. It is essential to building economies of scale and creating a competitive continental economy. It promises to open up new markets, by eliminating trade barriers, and through investments in key sectors like water and energy. It can unleash the full potential of Africa’s workforce. Read more

Alex Rugamba, Director, AfDB Energy and Climate Change Department

Given the complexity of the regional integration process, there is need for a systematic analysis of the status-quo in order to define the policies and priorities that will make the Bank’s new Regional Integration Strategy more relevant and effective. We are aware that despite the commitments by African Governments, regional bodies, and pan-African bodies such as the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa’s integration, results have been modest. Read More

Janvier Litse, Director, NEPAD and Regional Integration, African Development Bank

Africa has reached an exciting juncture in its development history and regional integration will play an important role to consolidate the gains and achieve sustainable transformation. The Bank for its part is committed to supporting African countries in their integration efforts by making investments towards bridging the infrastructure gap, tackling trade facilitation bottlenecks and non-tariff barriers, innovative infrastructure finance and capacity building, among others. However, challenges persist, requiring a steep change as we move forward. Read More

Oumy Ndiaye Sarr, responsible for multilateral monitoring, Ministry of the Economy and Finances, Senegal

Obstacles to the free movement of goods and persons constitute a real barrier to regional integration. The volume of intra-community trade is not unaffected by this. Such trade remains largely ineffectual in terms of being able to create an impact on accelerating regional integration. It should also be noted that there are questions of political governance that are highly significant in the implementation of agreements and protocols on regional integration. Socio-political instability also constitutes a barrier to African integration. Read more

African Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as building blocks of the African Union have been making progress with integration. The EAC-COMESA-SADC Tripartite will see 27 countries uniting into a free-trade area, collectively representing a positive step in terms of integration. However, the Tripartite is not moving as fast as expected and we should urge that we speed up the implementation of this agreement. ECOWAS is setting the pace on freedom of movement of peoples, with both ECOWAS and EAC recording improvements in intra-African trade. Read more

Liliane Alapini, Technical Economic Advisor, Ministry for the Development of Economic Analysis and Planning, Benin

The work of the African Economic Conference (AEC) is constructive and helps us to realize that Africa is experiencing a phase of transformation in its regional integration. The continent has made progress in structural transformation thanks to recent growth. The expanding middle classes have created new markets for goods and services. Read More

Issa Faye, Division Manager, Research, AfDB

The process of regional integration over the last decade has resulted in a certain amount of progress aimed not only at diagnosing problems related to the dynamic of regional integration, but also at providing solutions. Thus, some effort has been made to create policies to accelerate the process of regional integration. In other words, the problems of regional integration in Africa are known and there is a range of solutions, particularly in terms of policy.  Read More

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