Issues arising from pooling resources and integrating economies
Integrating Africa is the AfDB Group’s blog on regional integration in Africa. It chronicles the issues arising from African countries’ efforts as they work to pool resources and integrate their economies for the development of their regional and individual economies. Read More
Next time you pick up sporting gear or a pair of jeans in a U.S. mall, do check the label. It may have been made in Lesotho, a small, mountainous and land-locked country completely surrounded by South Africa, with a population of around two million.
Ten years is a very short time in the global economy, and by all accounts a decade is all that is left of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). While the United States’ unilateral preferential access programme for Africa has been reauthorized three times since it began in 2000, it looks very unlikely to be extended beyond 2025.
Free movement is back on the continent’s policy agenda and within its integration discourse. Such discourse has also been buttressed by several encouraging developments over the last year or so, notably the launch in early 2016 of a new Africa Visa Openness Report; the move by several African countries to offer visas on arrival to citizens of AU member states; and the July 2016 launch of the African passport.
To all those who are convinced that regional integration requires strong political will and committed leadership, African Heads of State showed just that when they were presented with a single African passport at the 27th African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The proposal to implement a single passport for Africa and ensure free movement of people is part of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda.
Throughout the price boom of the 2000s, extractive resources (mining, oil and gas) were seen as assets that African Governments needed to leverage more effectively for development outcomes. This view has persisted even through the current price slump that began in 2011.