Africa’s economic integration

The Pan-African agenda pursued by Africa’s leadership since the 1950s can be described as a coin with political and economic sides.  A political union, well advanced with the establishment in 1963 of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which subsequently morphed into the African Union (AU) in 2001, was considered, logically, as the pre-requisite for the economic integration of the continent. Political union and economic union were to reinforce each other. However, the empirical reality to date suggests that it is proving exceedingly more difficult to build granite pillars of economic integration across the continent than it was to establish the OAU and AU.

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