The Road to Regional Integration in Africa: Macroeconomic Convergence and Performance in Comesa

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Fabrizio Carmignani

Fabrizio Carmignani

UN Economic Commission for Europe - Economic Analysis Division

Date Written: June 2006

Abstract

COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) aims at establishing a currency union by 2025. To this end, a policy harmonisation programme and a set of convergence criteria have been set up. A number of projects to foster trade, economic and financial integration have also been launched. Using time-series and panel econometrics, this paper provides evidence on different dimensions of the integration process: macroeconomic policy convergence, shocks symmetry, per-capita income catching-up. Highlights are as follows. The monetary policy stance mildly converges across countries; fiscal stabilisation is however still problematic in several member states. Trade integration is low, but for a bulk of countries in the region there is evidence that shocks are somewhat symmetric. There is instead little evidence that per-capita incomes across countries are converging. In fact, some convergence to the bottom might be taking place among the poorest members.

Suggested Citation

Carmignani, Fabrizio, The Road to Regional Integration in Africa: Macroeconomic Convergence and Performance in Comesa (June 2006). Journal of African Economies, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 212-250, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=915480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/eji027

Fabrizio Carmignani (Contact Author)

UN Economic Commission for Europe - Economic Analysis Division ( email )

Room 441
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

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