Regional Economic Integration in Africa: Impediments to Process?
An all inclusive African Economic Union has been a longstanding objective of many in Africa and the United Nations. While some modest achievements have been realised, the long-held goal of effectively integrating Africa economically remains elusive. Against the backdrop of Africa's place in the world economy and the formation through recent history of African regional economic communities, this article assesses the major impediments to a continent-wide economic integration. It is the contention of this paper that effective economic integration has been hindered by regional overlapping, varying degrees of integration progress, and fragmentation due to competing interests. Before the article concludes, possible scenarios for the future are discussed.