Organization of African Unity

Ethiopia and Regional Integration

Because Ethiopia is the headquarters of the African Union its role on regional integration is usually taken as given. It is usually assumed that the state has and is making efforts to integrate with the continent. In this essay, I contend that Ethiopia’s historical engagement with regional integration has been at best passive and vague. On the contrary, its focus on regional integration at the moment seems different and active.

Why AfCFTA may not be a credible forerunner of single African market

The first seeming obstacle to the emergence of a single African market is the contradictions between the stated aims of AfCFTA and some of the principles set out in the AfCFTA Agreement. As noted earlier, AfCFTA’s objectives include creating “a single market” and laying “the foundations for the establishment of a Continental Customs Union”. Yet, one of the principles under Article 5 is “variable geometry”, that is, differentiated integration. Of course, variable geometry was designed to recognise the heterogeneity and diversity in Africa’s economies. However, a single market is not consistent with an a la carte approach, where members integrate at different speeds.