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The Enigma of African Economic Integration


  • M El-Agraa, Ali

    () (Fukuoka University)


The paper is devoted to a critical examination of the aims set out in the Constitutive Act of the African Union (2000) and the Abuja Treaty of 1991 creating the African Economic Community within the general context of the proliferation in African economic integration schemes and the espousal by Africa of the New Partnership for Africaís Development (NEPAD). Although the paper is sympathetic with the aims and aspirations set out in these documents and asks for more, it argues that they are not carefully thought out since the drafters seem to have been more impressed by the mere enumeration of items rather than their consistency. Hence, it fears that all indications suggest that Robson (1997) may prove correct when he states that ‘reculer pour mieux sauter is not a dictum that seems to carry much weight among African governments involved in regional integration. On the contrary, if a certain level of integration cannot be made to work, the reaction of policy makers has typically been to embark on something more elaborate, more advanced and more demanding in terms of administrative requirements and political commitment’.

Suggested Citation

  • M El-Agraa, Ali, 2004. "The Enigma of African Economic Integration," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 19-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:integr:0264

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    Cited by:

    1. Ali El-Agraa, 2008. "EU ‘economic and human rights’ examined within the context of regional integration worldwide," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 391-399, November.

    More about this item


    African Union; African economic community; Economic integration; MAP; NEPAD; OMEGA;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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