Annual Forum Papers

Regional integration: Lessons from Asia and Europe

  • Year: 2015
  • Publication Author(s): Nancy Mashodo
  • Countries and Regions: Asia, European Union (EU)

Session 5: International lessons

As Africa pursues regional integration due to increasing globalisation, the European Union is an example that Africa could learn from. The EU has been a forerunner in the movement of regional integration since the creation of the European Coal and steel Community in 1952 and the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1957 and this has since invigorated the attempts by other parts of the world to follow suit. Asia also provides valuable lessons on trade that Africa can apply in pursuing regional integration. Asian regional trade has not developed significantly until the financial crisis which forced member countries to trade among themselves in compensation of lessening trade with European and American markets. The existence of a number of regional groupings in Asia unlike in the EU could provide lessons for integration in Africa since Africa has a similar set up. Hence, integrating national policies with regional policies should be valuable to driving greater integration Africa based on regional political and economic institutions.