However, these gures can behighly misleading. Many o the agreements are not inorce. Furthermore, most are shallow rather than deeporms o integration. (Figure 1 shows how agreements vary depending on depth.) O the 193 in orce, 90 percentare ree trade agreements or partial trade agreements,many o which ocus on a handul o sectors or industries.Most o these are not “regional” in the common use o theterm; that is, the member states do not share borders. Inaddition, many o these accords involve only two states.Further, the vast majority o RAs aspire to nothing moresignicant than a marginal increase in trade between part-ners. Members have no intention o deepening integrationto levels nearly as signicant as in the EU.Te remaining 10 percent o RAs are customs unions, amuch deeper orm o integration. Under these accords,members create not only a ree trade agreement — elimi-nate all or nearly all taris among themselves — but alsoset common taris or nonmembers. O the 21 customsunions reported by the WO, seven are either the Euro-pean Community (EC) itsel or EC enlargements and threeothers are EC agreements with other states (Andorra, SanMarino, and urkey).Tis leaves only 11 customs union agreements that donot involve the EC/EU. Interestingly, nearly hal o theseare in Arica: the East Arican Community (EAC); theEconomic and Monetary Community o Central Arica(
Economique et Monétaire l´Afrique Centrale–
CEMAC); the Economic Community o West AricanStates (ECOWAS); the Southern Arican Customs Union(SACU); and the West Arican Economic and Monetary
To see the WTO’s database on regional trade agreements, visit the Regional TradeAgreements Information System (RTA-IS): http://rtais.wto.org/UI/PublicMaintainRTA-Home.aspx.
Union (WAEMU). Tis list suggests that Arica is moreinstitutionally economically integrated than many Ari-cans and Westerners may have thought. Many aspects o these agreements have yet to be implemented; nevertheless,their numbers and content suggest signicant aspirationsor deep economic regionalism in Arica. Tis ambition isembodied in the Arican Union’s stated mission o eventualcontinental integration.
Regional Integration in Comparative Perspective
Sub-Saharan Arica’s ormal regional integration agree-ments are importantly rooted in its colonial history, whichdiers markedly rom Europe’s history. Tis raises theundamental question o whether deep regional integrationusing the EU model is the best way to achieve developmentgoals or Arica.
Africa’s History with Deep Regional Integration
While some Arican nationalists (and pan-nationalists)may be loathe to raise the point, many trade and currency accords in Arica are based on a colonial past. Aerindependence, many o the Arican states opted to remainmembers o these institutions. wo cases illustrate thispoint: CEMAC and SACU.CEMAC’s history begins with two organizations datingrom French colonial rule: the
Afrique Occidentale Fran-çaise
(AOF), created in 1989, and the
(AEF), created in 1910.
In 1945, the Frenchcreated the
Colonies Française d’ Afrique
When the Arican members became independent in 1962,they retained the CFA rancs and the state groupingscreated during the colonial period. Until the economiccrisis in the 1990s, the two CFA rancs maintained a xedexchange rate with the French ranc, essentially delegatingmonetary policy to France. Tis was a voluntary action,meant to stabilize the CFA rancs and thus encourageinvestment, a standard recommended practice or states vulnerable to crippling ination. Eventually, however,the crisis became so severe that the states were orced todevalue in 1994. Te present-day CEMAC aspires to a
Ali Zafar and Keiko Kubota, “Regional Integration in Central Africa: Key Issues,”in
Africa Region Working Group Series
(New York: World Bank, 2003).
France created the CFA to preserve the exchange rates for the two African groups with the dollar while it devalued the French franc. Although the African states haveretained the acronym CFA, in the Central African states it stands for
Coopération Financière Africaine
, whereas in West Africa it stands for
Communauté Financière Africaine.
D e p t h o f I n t e g r a t i o n
Political UnionEconomic UnionCommon MarketMonetary Union(Dollarization)Customs UnionFree Trade AreaCurrency BoardPreferential Trade AreaPegged CurrencyHigh Trade LevelsHigh Levels of Foreign Currency
Figure 1: Depth of Integration