This panel provides an assessment and analysis of most recent developments and evolution of regional cooperation in Africa, regarding political and security issues.
The last twenty years have witnessed a new dynamic and revival of regional cooperation between African States. Beyond initial economic purposes, the agendas of many African regional organisations have progressively been broadened towards political and security issues, leading to the re-definition of objectives and priorities, the conclusion of mutual assistance and defence agreements and the set up of new common bodies, mechanisms and instruments. The African Peace and Security Architecture is based on the coordination of these developments on the regional level, and builds in particular upon the cooperation with and among the 14 regional organizations recognized by the AU (EAC, IGAD, IOC, ECOWAS, UEMOA, CEN-SAD, MRU, CEMAC, ECCAS, ECGCL, SADC, COMESA, SACU, AMU). The aim of this panel is to provide an assessment of most recent developments and evolution of regional cooperation in Africa, regarding political and security issues. While these developments have been largely analysed for most larger REC, some others did not get yet the research attention they deserve. The panel will therefore give priority to these organizations, by focusing on the following questions and challenges: • How did these organizations turn from a primarily economic agenda to political and security objectives? What particularities can be found? • What characterizes the relations between member states, as well as towards external powers, and what driving forces need to be considered? • How did relations to the AU evolve and how integrated and aligned are these developments to those on the continental level?