Regional integration in Africa: challenges and opportunities
Adebusuyi Isaac Adeniran (Obafemi Awolowo University)
Professor Lanre Olutayo
Start time:
29 June, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Despite the transformation of the Organization of African Unity to African Union in 2002, regional integration has continued to elude Africa. It is opined that a productive socio-economic and political integration will enable the process of African development.

Long abstract:

The originating intent of transmuting the 'Organization of African Unity' (OAU) to the 'African Union' in July, 2002, which is to facilitate greater socio-economic and political integration within the African continent, has remained largely elusive. Subsisting white-north/black-south dichotomy; incompatibilities in border policies, monetary zones and official languages among member states, have impeded interaction and integration within the region. Equally, persisting cleavage towards former 'colonial masters' by some member states, especially in the West African sub-region, has allowed for prioritization of national (and colonial) interests over larger regional interests. In this regard, such tendencies as the Anglophone-Francophone divide have been allowed to impact on the process of socio-economic and political interaction within the continent. This panel proposal explores the feasibility of attaining a productive socio-economic and political integration in Africa. It is envisaged that if borders and governments are no longer constituting any hindrance to the process of interaction within the African continent, the process of its development would be functionally enhanced, more so that development initiatives would be freely spread across the continent. Free movement of persons and goods should be engendered at the level of policy advancement by the African Union. Extant patterns of cross-border interaction, mobility and migration within the African continent should be espoused so as to disprove the notion of non-interactive framework between the white-north/black-south configuration and in order to obliterate the colonial Anglophone-Francophone classification. Keywords: African Union, development, member states, regional integration