An Africa Regional Integration Index tracking and documenting the impacts of regional integration in Africa is in preparation with the collaboration of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The Index is considered as the first systematic, quantitative, continent-wide monitoring system for regional integration in Africa.

The aim behind the index is to track the progress of African countries and regional economic communities (RECs) towards achieving their shared regional integration goals as well as track and document the impacts of regional integration in Africa.

With the upcoming Index, countries and RECs will be able to identify gaps and make informed policy decisions on how best to meet their regional integration aspirations and commitments.

AfDB, AUC and ECA will organise a series of training sessions for national statistical focal points because new projects will use indicators, which have never been compiled in this manner before.

Initially, the three institutions are focusing on training statistical focal points from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

The training was held from 24 to 28 November 2014 and took place at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Africa Trade Fund, an AfDB hosted trade-related technical assistance facility, financed the first workshop.

The training brought together statistical focal points from Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe, Comoros, Madagascar, Djibouti, Burundi and Cape Verde.

South Africa will welcome the next training workshopin February 2015, where more than 20 focal points from different RECs and Corridor Agencies are expected.

The three institutions presented their ongoing work on the Index at the margins of the first joint Africa Directors-General of Statistics meeting in Tunis from 8 to 12 December  2014. This will also be presented at the African Union (AU) Summit in January 2015.

The first edition of the Index will be presented at the Joint AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in March 2015.

Source: African Development Bank – Image: African Development Bank Group

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