Kind of Cooperation Needed in Different Parts of East Africa

A number of cooperation arrangements have been set up throughout the continent of Africa in furtherance of economic development and prosperity. The article “East African Economic integration Base Case Economic Analysis” appearing in the African Integration Review points out that deeper integration is needed on the continent to promote the type of growth necessary for the success of the economies that exist there. And efforts have been underway to include this type of integration. “In October 2008, the EAC, after negotiations with the South African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, agreed to an expanded free single trade area that would pave the way for deep Africa economic development. The new African Economic Community and the Free Trading Zone have been agreed upon by 26 member states. Thus, the trading bloc that has been established rivals the European Union in size consisting of one less state than the EU.

The main goal of establishing this type of trade bloc on the continent of Africa is to establish a stronger more competitive regional economic community. The local economies of each of these member states is thriving and this helps to establish a trade bloc with a greater economic advantage; however, the success of the local economics also presents a drawback to the establishment of a trade bloc at that current time. “Rapid ideologically-driven integration or and wrongly politically motivated and unequal strength of other member states may be a constraint and thus prove destructive. Global supply chains, while often operating as a disembedded circuit of trade relations, are fundamentally entrenched in local contexts. These local contexts are governed by national resources, priorities, the global market and membership of trade communities. Putting all of these elements together – long term (often exploitative) trade relations, entrenched modes of production and supply, and powerful systems of governance – results in an understanding of how cast – in – stone the trade relations may be. Clearly, African continental integration must begin somewhere, but an agreement to merge economic communities without first establishing and strengthening institution s and systems of governance will result in weak integration; a house built with twigs trying to protect itself angst the big bad wolf”.

According to Longo and Sekkat’s 2004 article “Economic Obstacles to Expanding Intra-African Trade” trade between the countries of are not too low when compared to other similarly situated countries. It is only when examined by themselves that these countries have a low level of integration for their economic prosperity. However, the primary reason that the level of trade in this region is acceptable according to the reasoning of Longo and Sekkat is due to the poor economic prosperity of the region. Therefore, one can assume from this article that higher levels of integration and trade are associated with higher levels of prosperity and this is what the countries of the African continent aim to achieve from these integration efforts.

 

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