Status of Regional Integration in Africa - Focus on macroeconomic convergence

Status of Regional Integration in Africa

Macroeconomic convergence is one of the key instruments for successful regional integrating as well as economic growth. It plays an important role in providing efficiency, promoting public accountability, and paving the way for economic growth and sustainable development. It has been growing in popularity among many economists in developing regions, including those in Africa. Convergence among integrating African countries, particularly those at different levels of economic development, presents a platform for these countries to catch up through the narrowing down of their disparities. Deep regional integration cannot be realized unless there is sustainable macroeconomic convergence.

Five of the eight African Union recognized RECs[1] have set macroeconomic and monetary convergence targets aimed at harmonizing their economic indicators. However, countries within these RECs have not been able to sufficiently converge towards these indicators. There have been challenges in effectively coordinating the endorsed macroeconomic policy convergence programmes in a manner that would facilitate meeting targets.

[1] These are SADC, COMESA, ECOWAS, EAC, and ECCAS