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Africa Economic Brief – Volume 9 issue 05 - Regional Financial Integration and Economic Activity in Africa
The historical account of financial integration and cooperation in Africa is somewhat chequered and dates back to the colonial era. The earliest record of efforts towards regionalization was with the establishment of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) in 1910. Recent trends toward regionalization have now moved beyond trade and customs unions to economic, financial, and monetary integration. To fix ideas, regional financial integration refers to a market- or institutionally-driven process of broadening and deepening the financial interrelationships within a region; whereas, financial develop - ment refers to the process by which financial institutions and markets increase in size and influence on the rest of the economy.