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World Bank, Washington, DC
2012-08-13T09:39:28Z | 2012-08-13T09:39:28Z | 2000-09

Over the past few decades Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries have tried various arrangements to promote economic integration. Most of these arrangements have focused on promoting greater intra-regional trade. Nevertheless, despite some increase in intra-regional trade in some of the groupings (e.g., COMESA, SADC and UEMOA), overall intra-regional trade in SSA is less than 10 percent of the region's total trade. In the past decade, some of the arrangements have also started to focus on promoting greater intra-regional investment flows (e.g., UEMOA, COMESA). The experience to date has brought out two key issues that are likely to shape the debate over the integration approaches in SSA over the next decade. These are: a choice between "integration by design" and "integration by emergence"; and the relative importance given to the promotion of intra-regional trade and investment. This article presents a synthesis of the issues as well as the experience in dealing with these issues under the Cross Border Initiative (CBI) in Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean countries.


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