African Economic Conference
Regional integration has been the goal of African countries at least since the attainment of independence more than 50 years ago. Many arguments for speeding up the integration process have been advanced from many quarters since then—political leaders, economists in government and the private sector, and researchers in universities and think-tanks. It is generally agreed that integration would be politically and economically beneficial for Africa in the global economy.
In response, African countries have tried to strengthen their regional economic communities, streamlining their mandates, and with some regions even considering closer political union. Platforms for an eventual monetary union have been set up in East and West Africa. Importantly, Africa’s apex political body, the Organization of African Unity became the African Union. In spite of these efforts, the goal of an economically integrated Africa is still elusive. The aim of the planned African Economic Conference 2013, which as in past years will be organized jointly by the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program, is to address these challenges and suggest solutions.