Regional integration is recognized as a key strategy for development in Africa. The African Development Bank has just this week named integration as one of their top five priorities to accelerate economic transformation in the continent.
The news of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union (EU) casts a new light on African union. Leaders of African integration, whose projects have been loosely modeled on the success of the EU, must assess what is realistically achievable in forming a common market across the continent. It is now more important than ever that decision makers come together to discuss the progress of intra-regional trade.
Moves towards integration, including the landmark Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), mean that Africa’s journey towards a more connected, competitive and business-friendly continent is already well underway. For instance, major infrastructure developments which link people from point of production to consumption are now providing the ground on which to turn political will for integration into practical reality.
Paul Sinclair, TGAISCR organizing committee member, comments: “The political will for economic integration in Africa is high, and it creates an unrivaled investment proposition. As investors face uncertainty elsewhere in the world, we need to come together to celebrate the successes so far, and to listen to the priorities of investors and business leaders. As Africa becomes an increasingly important global market, these discussions will create the backbone for Africa’s success.
” The Global African Investment Summit, taking place on 5th and 6th September, will direct attention to these issues. During the Summit, industry leaders will join with government decision makers from various African states to assess the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), review the progress of regional integration, and unpack the market opportunities for globalization.