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African leaders on regional integration

Published on August 27, 2015

The East African Community was, praised for its success at increasing intra-regional trade (by 16% from 2005 to 2010). It was, however, noted that though the organisation has had a customs union since 2005, a disproportionate amount of its time has been spent on removing barriers to trade against the private sector. More positively, some innovations have been crafted such as Rwandan customs officials being deployed to clear goods at the port of Dar es Salaam.

With intra-regional trade a derisory 12% on the continent, it was noted that Africans needed to change their mind-sets in order to succeed in their efforts to achieve regional integration. The phenomenon of African countries creating regional organisations with similar goals and overlapping memberships was criticised as inefficient and profligate. Several African regional bodies also lack constitutions and legal frameworks that define their rules, while there are often no independent mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of their activities. Read more. Source | The Guardian