Gender Perspective of Regional Integration and Inclusive Growth in Africa
14 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018
Date Written: June 8, 2016
Africa remains a continent with huge human and natural resources and has been experiencing sudden boom in its economy. However, despite the increase in growth indices, growth has not been inclusive and the continent still records high level of poverty, malnutrition, hunger, and inequality. Gender is a component of inclusive growth which although, cogent for achieving sustainable development, still faces certain cogent barriers in Africa. One could say that one of the reasons for poor competitiveness in Africa today is as a result of gender barriers to equal access to market resources, restrictions to trade negotiations, laws and institution. In view of this, this study assesses the need for regional integration in Africa as a key to achieving inclusive growth. It analyses disparities in the components of gender index on cross country and regional basis in Africa, differences in gender dimensions among regional economic communities and the impact of gender on Africa’s economic growth. Data was extracted from the African Development Bank’s 2015 gender equality index. Dimensions of gender equality index used in this study include equality in economic opportunities, equality in human/social development and equality in laws and institutions. The result revealed disparities across members of the three regional economic communities (RECs) assessed in the studies (ECOWAS, COMESA and SADC) with the weakest reflection in equality in laws and institutions. The result also shows significant mean difference at 5% and 1% for equality in economic opportunities and equality in human development. Linear regression analysis shows that gender equality in human development, and laws and institutions are positively significant to Africa’s economic growth at 1% and 10% significantly. This study recommends a need for regional economic communities to structure policies to promote gender activities, especially creating flexibilities in laws and institutions at country and regional level.
Keywords: regional integration, inclusive growth, gender, regional economic communities and Africa
JEL Classification: R11, P25, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation