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Unlocking North Africa’s Potential through Regional Integration : Challenges and Opportunities


  • Santi, Emanuele


Efforts to promote regional integration in North Africa to date have often been constrained by political differences as well as diversity in economic performance, pace of economic reforms and openness, and disparities in legal and regulatory frameworks. Overlapping preferential trade agreements also emerged as a constraint to regional integration efforts on the back of complex rules of origin and a large number of ‘behind the border’ barriers. Together, these impediments have increased transaction costs. Importantly, the existence of these barriers reflects weak commitment to the integration process, as national governments have failed to translate decisions taken at the regional level into action at the country level. In the wake of the Arab Spring, the emerging political landscape in North Africa promises to give new impetus to regional integration efforts, as new democratically-elected governments seek to promote inclusive growth and build institutions for good governance. The diversity of resource endowments in the region, coupled with the existing physical infrastructure, represent an important opportunity to further development through integration. This book examines the key issues and challenges facing regional integration in the North African countries across a number of thematic areas including: (i) energy, (ii) climate change and environment, (iii) financial sector, (iv) trade facilitation and transport, (v) human development and, (vi) information and communication technology. It provides proposals for the Bank’s continued engagement in the region, geared towards exploiting the full potential of regional integration in North Africa for the promotion of a new, inclusive, sustainable economic growth model.

Suggested Citation

  • Santi, Emanuele, 2012. "Unlocking North Africa’s Potential through Regional Integration : Challenges and Opportunities," MPRA Paper 41830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41830

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
    2. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Inequalities and Their Measurement," IZA Discussion Papers 1219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. Udry, Christopher & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Gender differentials in farm productivity: implications for household efficiency and agricultural policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 407-423, October.
    5. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kishor Uprety, 2014. "Challenges, Lessons, and Prospects for Operationalizing Regional Projects in Asia : Legal and Institutional Aspects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16392.
    2. Iris Butzlaff & Nicole Grunewald & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Regional Agreements to Address Climate Change: Scope, Promise, Funding, and Impacts," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 152, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    3. Abdessalem Abassi & Lota Dabio Tamini, 2016. "Trade performance and potential of North African countries: An application of a stochastic frontier gravity model," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2016-4, CREATE.

    More about this item


    Regional Intergration; Economics; Middle East; North Africa; Trade; Energy;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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