The Drive to Economic Integration in Africa

15 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2005

See all articles by Rasul Shams

Rasul Shams

Hamburg Institute of International Economics

Date Written: May 2005


In Africa there has been an immense effort in the past, continuing into the present, to unite politically and to build numerous economic integration areas. In this paper we discuss the reasons for the existence of this phenomenon in Africa which we call the drive to political and economic integration. Some conventional explanations are discussed. Our own explanation is based on the theory of bureaucracy and the imbalances emerging in the process of development. If Africa is ready for regional economic integration, it has to follow another path to this end: The path of centric integration.

Keywords: Economic integration, union, bureaucracy, centric integration

JEL Classification: F15, P16, O18, O55

Suggested Citation

Shams, Rasul, The Drive to Economic Integration in Africa (May 2005). HWWA Discussion Paper No. 316. Available at SSRN: or

Rasul Shams (Contact Author)

Hamburg Institute of International Economics ( email )

Heimhuder Strasse 71
D-20347 Hamburg, DE Hamburg 20148
+49 40 42834 442 (Phone)

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