Regional Integration and Cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Are Formal Trade Agreements the Right Strategy
This paper examines the potential for success for trade-focused regional integration agreements in Sub-Saharan Africa, with particular focus on Southern Africa. The paper surveys the existing literature on regional integration, and attempts to distill the most relevant lessons about success and failure for the current integration initiatives in the region. It finds that there is little reason to expect significant economic gains form formal trade agreements at this time. Such agreements, in and of themselves, are unlikely to yield appreciable benefits unless they are preceded by decisions within member countries to follow more general open trade strategies.
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