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AEC 2013 Report - Regional Integration in Africa
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma reviewed the African Union’s 1991 Abuja Treaty designed to promote regional economic integration. She argued that the building blocks of wider economic integration – the eight Regional Economic Communities – have made great progress in strengthening themselves and promoting growth. Five have created customs unions eliminating internal trade barriers. Some lag behind, but all are moving in the right direction.
Donald Kaberuka emphasized first that the changing structure of the global economy requires Africa to integrate to survive and, second, that to integrate it needs to invest in regional infrastructure. He highlighted recent positive economic performance, with a third of African countries averaging 6.5% growth per year, and the others – except for eight fragile states – averaging 5%. But Africa needs regional integration in order to compete in the global economy.