Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2020, Page: 53-62
Africa’s Free Trade Area: An Assessment of the Readiness of Regional Economic Communities in Continental Integration
Joseph Kwabena Manboah-Rockson, Department of Research, Innovation & Programs Development ORID), Catholic Institute of Business and Technology (CIBT), Adabraka, Accra, Ghana
Received: Dec. 20, 2019;       Accepted: Jan. 27, 2020;       Published: Sep. 16, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ipa.20200402.15      View  60      Downloads  26
Abstract
The recently launched (July 2019) African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose setup begun in 2015, is widely seen as the crucial driver for economic growth, industrialization and sustainable development in Africa. The concluded agreement establishing the AfCFTA provides rules that will govern the movement of merchandise and services across the continent. It sets up the institutional framework that will guide and regulate the CFTA implementation processes. There is a recognition that the current path of economic regionalism in Africa is encouraging but has serious fractures on the continent and the global trading system. In the attempt to achieve an overarching continental strategy for continuous development, there are vestiges of regional economic integration schemes, in the areas of multiple economic alliances, overlapping schemes, the non-implementation of protocols and many other fractures. In an attempt to alleviate these vestiges, the latest wave of continental innovation – AfCFTA – raises a long-standing conundrum for continental order: when are regional organizations useful, and even essential complements to the ends of continental governance for benefit, and when do they threaten or undermine the achievement of these goals? This paper’s contention is that regionalism within Africa is anchored on many theories of integration, among them are functionalism, neo-functionalism, and intergovernmentalism, and based on the European integration experience. But drawing lessons from the enormous, political and economic as well as, security challenges confronting the African Union (AU) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), how viable and ready can the RECs be used as ‘vehicles’ in support of the achievement of continental integration in Africa, when they are so ‘gullible’ themselves?
Keywords
Regional Economic Communities (RECs), “Building blocs”, “key pillars”, Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, African Union
To cite this article
Joseph Kwabena Manboah-Rockson, Africa’s Free Trade Area: An Assessment of the Readiness of Regional Economic Communities in Continental Integration, International and Public Affairs. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2020, pp. 53-62. doi: 10.11648/j.ipa.20200402.15
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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