ADF III is supportive of, and complementary to, a succession of initiatives by African Heads of State. The Abuja Treaty, which came into force in 1994, aims at the creation of the African Economic Community by 2025. Subsequently, the agreements of the OAU in Sirte, Libya in 1999 and 2001 demonstrate renewed determination to move ahead with continent-wide integration. The Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament, and the Draft Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament, articulate these commitments. A number of RECs -- including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and others -- are also making progress towards sub-regional economic integration.

The coming into force of the Constitutive Act of the African Union provides a timely opportunity to focus on what needs to happen institutionally and at policy level to galvanize regional integration. By defining the priorities and strategic policy choices, ADF III aims toenergize and define steps towards accelerating and monitoring the process of regional integration in critical areas. In doing so, it aims to inform and add value to the ongoing moves towards an African economic and monetary union. Towards this overarching objective, ADF III will:

  • Reflect on Africa’s historic initiatives for political and economic unity and examine regional integration experiences from other regions:The Forum will bring together experts on regional integration from Africa as well as from across the world that can critically assess the experiences of the various regions with a view to drawing lessons for Africa.

  • Consolidate lessons learned and identify best practices: The Forum will draw upon the rich experience of ongoing sub-regional initiatives to develop practical action points for furthering economic integration processes.

  • Define priorities and strategic actions needed to accelerate regional integration: In the context of the African Union, the Forum will discuss and agree upon practical policy and institutional measures needed to add value to, and accelerate, the regional integration process.