Following the release of the African Regional Integration Index (ARII) 2019 Report, ECA launches a dedicated website to enable a deeper understanding of the performance of the continent, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and African countries in regional integration.
The Index evaluates regional integration on the basis of five dimensions – trade integration, productive integration, macroeconomic integration, infrastructural integration, and integration in terms of free movement of people – for 54 African countries and for the eight RECs recognised by the African Union. ARII 2019 ranks African countries’ level of integration within their respective RECs and also with the rest of the continent.
The objective of this dedicated website is to enable in-depth understanding of integration across its various dimensions presented in ARII 2019. The website has features that allow access to customized maps, graphs, tables and the underlying raw data.
Africa’s overall score in regional integration from ARII 2019 is relatively low, suggesting considerable room for improvement. However, if we look closely into the scores across the five integration dimensions, it becomes apparent that Africa’s relative poor performance is due to the low scores in two specific areas: productive integration and infrastructural integration. If we go another layer deeper and look at the scores of indicators within dimensions, low trade in intermediate products tends to explain the relatively weak performance in productive integration, while inadequate infrastructure networks drive poor performance in infrastructural integration.
The five dimensions of integration in ARII 2019 are so closely interrelated that Africa’s overall performance would improve significantly if regional value chains are strengthened, thereby improving the continent’s productive integration, and the infrastructure network is enhanced.
ECA has provided training to Member States on the collection and use of the information contained in ARII 2019 for policy analysis and policy development.