Op-Ed: Looking skyward towards African Economic Integration


The necessity of enhanced regional economic integration, particularly boosting intra-regional trade flows, has long been a centrepiece of conversation about improving Africa’s economic fortunes. Since the downfall of colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s, there have been multiple high-profile efforts at trade and customs unions but usually with low levels of success. It remains an unfortunate fact that trading goods between regional neighbours is often more difficult than exporting to distant Asian, European, and North American markets.

The reasons for this disparity are numerous, including the continued colonial legacy of transport infrastructure designed to take goods from the interior to port cities (“forts and ports”) rather than between adjoining states. Post-colonial governments…

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