New report says East Africa is leader in regional integration
The Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) report has just been published.East Africa is the most integrated region on the continent, according to the Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) report.
A collaborative effort between the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the ARII seeks to collect data on the impacts of regional integration.
"This IIRA index is a first in Africa (…) Although regional integration is considered a key element of economic transformation, there was no mechanism to date to measure how countries and different regions of Africa fare in this matter - until the publication of this flagship report," said the AfDB in a statement.
The ARII looks at 16 indicators across five broad dimensions, namely trade integration, productive integration, regional infrastructure, free movement of people, and financial integration.
The indicators measure important aspects such as share of intra-regional trade as a percentage of total trade, and proportion of intra-regional flights, amongst others.
Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Cameroon are among the best rated countries.
According to Fatima Haram Acyl, the AUC Commissioner for Trade and Industry, the results show that while progress is being made with 28 top performing countries across the eight Regional Economic Communities, average integration scores stand at below half of the scale.
"It is time for Africa to build on this and drive regional integration ever further forward," she concluded.