African countries have been striving to increase cross-border trade, investment, and political ties for decades with the aspiration of capturing some of the same benefits that economic integration has delivered to other regions of the world. This chapter examines the history of African regional integration, including its benefits, the various initiatives that African governments have pursued, the nature of the integration process and its contemporary challenges. Regional integration is Africa’s rational response to the high costs faced by a continent comprising many small national economies and landlocked countries. African governments have concluded a large number of intra-regional trade agreements, of which many have significant membership overlap.
Yaduma, Natina and Wasiq N. Khan (2019). “Intra-regional Trade and African Economic Integration”, In Ewout Frankema, Ellen Hillbom, Ushehwedu Kufakurinani and Felix Meier zu Selhausen (eds.), The History of African Development: An Online Textbook for a New Generation of African Students and Teachers. African Economic History Network.