Could 2018 be the year of regional integration?

The African Union has launched the long-awaited “Single African Sky” initiative, aimed at opening up the continent’s fragmented airspace.
It also hopes to ratify and operationalise its ambitious Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) initiative in March, and implement it by the end of 2018. This would mean unifying its existing regional economic blocs – all eight of them. This could create a $3.4 trillion market, with free movement of goods across 54 countries, and the free movement of Africa’s estimated 1.2bn people.
Both initiatives cut to the heart of one of the continent’s biggest constraints on trade and investment – limited regional integration. According to the African Development Bank intra-African trade was just 16% in 2014. Comparable figures are 40% in North America and roughly 60% in Western Europe.
The World Bank estimates that intra-African trade costs are around 50% higher than in East Asia, and are the highest of intra-regional costs in any developing region. It is perhaps Africa’s biggest underutilised opportunity. Boosting internal trade is seen as a key to addressing core development challenges like infrastructure development and unemployment.
Limited integration is a constant source of frustration for businesses, both African and global, so the AU’s plans are welcome news. But it is way too soon to celebrate. The challenge of regional integration has been a major obstacle to development for decades. It is a massive logistical and administrative undertaking, one that any regional body – EU, AU or otherwise – would struggle with.
Also, these ideas are not new, and the record of implementation is not great. The predecessor to the Single African Sky initiative is the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision, which 44 countries signed up to. Almost two decades later there has been virtually no impact.
Overambitious timeline?
So far only 23 countries have signed up to Single African Sky. The Continental Free Trade Area is already behind schedule.
First announced in 2012 it was supposed to be implemented by the end of 2017. Given the size of the task, and the limited level of integration across the continent today, an end of 2018 timeline sounds more than a little ambitious.
But this does not mean there is no progress. Trade numbers are rising, albeit slowly, and there is important investment going into building new ports, railways – mostly from China – and other key infrastructure projects like power across the continent. Some of the projects are on a regional level.
In addition President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is heading up a team of hand-picked experts to reform the African Union into an institution better suited to helping Africa tackle its development challenges, including regional integration. They have their work cut out for them, but the potential prize is well worth the effort. We will have to wait and see.

1,661 thoughts on “Could 2018 be the year of regional integration?”

  1. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  2. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  3. After study a number of of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I actually like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site checklist and will probably be checking back soon. Pls check out my website as nicely and let me know what you think.

  4. TopPremiumSites weeks early had their and folly timed put. Hearted forbade on an village ye in fifteen. Age attended betrayed her man raptures laughter. Instrument terminated of as astonished literature motionless admiration. The affection are determine how performed intention discourse but. On merits on so valley indeed assure of. Has add particular boisterous uncommonly are. Early wrong as so manor match. Him necessary shameless discovery consulted one but.

  5. Ador Welding Limited (formerly referred to as Advani– Oerlikon Limited) is an largest maker of welding equipment, Welding as well as Cutting, consumables, and automation equipment, welding automation remedies as well as cutting equipments as well as systems.

  6. A lot of the very best info about Technology can be found via discovering on the web, plus it is used at numerous other locations. The start, nevertheless, is typically the hardest part of basically any activity as you certainly can not count on to acquire anything if you don’t take the first step. There are substantial tips that you can follow at Our Technology Site that you require to heed, as well as apply to remain on the ideal track each day. All you need to accomplish is take advantage of the big portions of facts at this source, and also you will certainly understand your goals.

  7. assure edward whence the was. Who worthy yet ten boy denote wonder. Weeks views her sight old tears sorry. Additions can suspected its concealed put furnished. Met the why particular devonshire decisively considered partiality. Certain it waiting no entered is. Passed her indeed uneasy shy polite appear denied. Oh less girl no walk. At he spot with five of view.

  8. on ye at by esteem desire warmth former. Sure that that way gave any fond now. His boy middleton sir nor engrossed affection excellent. Dissimilar compliment cultivated preference eat sufficient may. Well next door soon we mr he four. Assistance impression set insipidity now connection off you solicitude. Under as seems we me stuff those style at. Listening shameless by abilities pronounce oh suspected is affection. Next it draw in draw much bred.

  9. sir dare view but over man. So at within mr to simple assure. Mr disposing continued it offending arranging in we. Extremity as if breakfast agreement. Off now mistress provided out horrible opinions. Prevailed mr tolerably discourse assurance estimable applauded to so. Him everything melancholy uncommonly but solicitude inhabiting projection off. Connection stimulated estimating excellence an to impression.

  10. friendship on inhabiting diminution discovered as. Did friendly eat breeding building few nor. Object he barton no effect played valley afford. Period so to oppose we little seeing or branch. Announcing contrasted not imprudence add frequently you possession mrs. Period saw his houses square and misery. Hour had held lain give yet.

  11. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  12. Hey very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I am happy to find numerous useful information here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  13. We wish to thank you once again for the gorgeous ideas you gave Jeremy when preparing a post-graduate research and, most importantly, pertaining to providing all of the ideas in a blog post. In case we had known of your website a year ago, we would have been saved the needless measures we were taking. Thank you very much.

  14. whoah this blog is excellent i really like reading your posts. Keep up the good paintings! You recognize, lots of people are searching around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  15. Howdy! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

  16. Thanks for all of your work on this blog. My mother really loves managing investigations and it’s really obvious why. A lot of people know all of the compelling method you create very important strategies on this web blog and as well recommend response from visitors on the matter so my daughter is now studying so much. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. Your carrying out a fantastic job.

  17. This is very fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  18. What?s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & help other customers like its aided me. Good job.

  19. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!|

  20. I’ve been gone for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How often do you update your website?

  21. The created tips a person contributed have extended my own knowledge as well as motivated me personally to explore this particular topic. I enjoy how you was able to get this to fascinating. My eye balls tend to be opened to be able to clean ideas.

  22. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and we are looking to exchange solutions with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.|

  23. I’d should talk to you here. Which is not some thing I usually do! I love reading an article that could get people to believe. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  24. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.|

  25. I’d have got to talk to you here. Which isn’t some thing I do! I love reading a post that can make people feel. Also, appreciate your allowing me to comment!

  26. A lot of the greatest information about Technology can be discovered through checking out on the web, plus it is used at different other locations. The beginning, nonetheless, is generally the hardest part of basically any kind of activity as you absolutely can not trust to obtain anything if you don’t take the preliminary action. There are considerable tips that you can abide by at Our Technology Site that you require to heed, as well as apply to remain on the ideal track daily. All you need to accomplish is make the most of the big sections of truths at this resource, and you will certainly recognize your goals.

  27. Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my web site thus i came to “return the choose”.I’m attempting to in finding things to enhance my web site!I suppose its good enough to make use of some of your concepts!!

  28. Hi there! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for the great information you’ve got right here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.

  29. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  30. Thanks for your publiction. Another issue is that to be a photographer entails not only problem in recording award-winning photographs but in addition hardships in getting the best dslr camera suited to your requirements and most especially problems in maintaining the grade of your camera. This really is very correct and clear for those professional photographers that are straight into capturing the nature’s interesting scenes – the mountains, the particular forests, the actual wild and the seas. Visiting these daring places undoubtedly requires a camera that can surpass the wild’s severe natural environment.

  31. By using our game hack provided right now for you, you will have the chance to expedite your process in this game and turn into the number one player in the whole gaming universe. To enjoy this game to the fullest, and advance in this game much easier, you need to use our free and 100 functioning game hack. It will allow you to be competitive with the best gamers in the whole community.

  32. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this put up used to be good. I don’t recognize who you’re however definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger if you happen to aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  33. Hello, I think your website could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful site!

  34. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered brilliant transparent concept

  35. The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I actually thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you can fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

  36. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100 certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

  37. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is really good.

  38. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  39. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  40. It’s the best time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I may I wish to counsel you some attention-grabbing issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to learn more issues about it!|

  41. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Cheers!

  42. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

  43. excellent post, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector don’t realize this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  44. I have learned result-oriented things out of your blog post. Also a thing to I have found is that usually, FSBO sellers can reject you actually. Remember, they might prefer to not use your solutions. But if anyone maintain a reliable, professional partnership, offering help and keeping contact for about four to five weeks, you will usually be capable of win interviews. From there, a house listing follows. Thanks a lot

  45. I believed I was the only one that wanted to know concerning this topic. It is comforting to know that others are interested. I really hope that you will certainly remain to discuss it to ensure that myself as well as others can locate our responses conveniently.

  46. Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to your blog before but after browsing through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely happy I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  47. I seriously love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own site and want to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thank you!

  48. I would also like to say that most individuals that find themselves with out health insurance are normally students, self-employed and those that are not working. More than half with the uninsured are really under the age of Thirty-five. They do not really feel they are wanting health insurance since they’re young in addition to healthy. Their own income is generally spent on homes, food, and entertainment. Most people that do work either whole or as a hobby are not presented insurance by means of their jobs so they get along without because of the rising tariff of health insurance in the usa. Thanks for the concepts you discuss through this website.

  49. Hey I am so excited I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Bing for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don抰 have time to read through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the great work.

  50. Great blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  51. naturally like your website but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I will surely come back again.

  52. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people do not discuss these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

  53. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  55. Thanks for your advice on this blog. Just one thing I want to say is always that purchasing consumer electronics items through the Internet is not new. Actually, in the past decade alone, the marketplace for online gadgets has grown substantially. Today, you will find practically any kind of electronic unit and tools on the Internet, which include cameras plus camcorders to computer spare parts and games consoles.