High-level meeting on leading African regions: “Each and everyone has a role to play in this integration”

Johannesburg, 28 October 2013 - Heads of institutions including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; Pravin Gordhan, Finance Minister, South Africa; Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank; and Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa, on Monday, October 28 in Johannesburg, held a high-level discussion on leading African regions.

The leaders expressed optimism that although many African countries have done well in the last decade, that momentum should be maintained. But they said each and everyone has a role to play: “The important thing is that we all have a role to play in this integration, and media organizations specifically should convey success stories on Africa’s achievement,” said the AU Chairperson.

For the AfDB President this is a very special time for this continent. With the political liberation of the continent, economic integration is our main goal. The continent, he said, needs to get from turning point to the tipping point. “We have a long way to go but we need a minimum of 7% growth as well as infrastructure and trade facilitations to meet our target,” Kaberuka said.

About 350 participants made up of researchers, journalists, think tanks, policymakers, private sector and civil society from every corner of the globe attended the meeting, immediately after the opening session of the African Economic Conference.

Discussions focused on the leadership role Africans need to play in promoting regional integration. Participants raised issues related to the flow of goods across borders, security in the region, reducing delays in doing business, customs systems, harmonization of curricula, development of domestic markets, infrastructure and energy, job creation and financing youth.