The African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have joined forces to produce an Africa Regional Integration Index.
The Index, the first systematic, quantitative, continent-wide monitoring system for regional integration in Africa, is designed to track the progress of African countries and regional economic communities (RECs) towards achieving their shared regional integration goals. It will also track and document the impacts of regional integration in Africa.
The Index will help countries and RECs to identify gaps and make informed policy decisions on how best to meet their regional integration aspirations and commitments.
Given the novelty of the project and the fact that most of the indicators that are to be used have never been compiled in this manner before, AfDB, AUC and ECA will organize a series of training sessions for national statistical focal points. In the first instance, the three institutions are focusing on training statistical focal points from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
The pilot training workshop, which was funded by the Africa Trade Fund, an AfDB hosted trade-related technical assistance facility, was held from the November 24-28, 2014 at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The training brought together statistical focal points from Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe, Comoros, Madagascar, Djibouti, Burundi and Cape Verde. The next training workshop is scheduled for February 2015 in South Africa. It will bring together more than 20 focal points from different RECs and Corridor Agencies.
The three institutions will also present their ongoing work on the Index at the margins of the first joint Africa Directors-General of Statistics meeting in Tunis from December 8-12, 2014, as well as at the African Union (AU) Summit in January 2015.
The first edition of the Index shall be presented at the Joint AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in March 2015.