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Regionalizing infrastructure for deepening market integration: the case of East Africa

  • Kessides, Ioannis N.
  • Benjamin, Nancy C.

The East African Community has long recognized that regional economic integration can yield significant welfare gains to its member states. To that end, the community has been making steady progress towards the removal of tariffs and quantitative restrictions to trade. Moreover, in recent years, there has been an increasing recognition that: (a) even greater welfare gains could be realized through deeper forms of regional integration which entail harmonization of legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks; and (b) reforms that reduce cross-border transaction costs and improve the performance of"backbone"infrastructure services are arguably even more important for the creation of an open, unified regional economic space than trade policy reforms narrowly defined. Disparities of regulatory treatment across borders can introduce distortions that hinder both cross-border trade and the aggregate flows of investment on a regional basis. Regulatory harmonization and infrastructure regionalization could make a significant contribution to the region's economic development by promoting a more efficient utilization of its human and physical resources, enhancing connectivity, reducing the costs of trade, and facilitating the integration of the continent with the global economy.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6113.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6113
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  1. Mauricio Mesquita Moreira, 2007. "Trade costs and the economic fundamentals of the initiative for integration of regional infrastructure in South America (IIRSA)," INTAL Working Papers 1460, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  2. Hurlin, Christophe, 2006. "Network effects of the productivity of infrastructure in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3808, The World Bank.
  3. Alemayehu Geda & Haile Kebret, 2008. "Regional Economic Integration in Africa: A Review of Problems and Prospects with a Case Study of COMESA," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(3), pages 357-394, June.
  4. Masami ISHIDA, 2009. "Special Economic Zones and Economic Corridors," Working Papers d019, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
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