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Regional Integration

SSATP: Transit & Interstate Corridors   

Most African countries have already recognized the benefits of regional integration and participate in at least one regional arrangement. While past performance has been very mixed, there is renewed momentum for a more pragmatic approach to regional integration. In addition, the New Partnership for Africa Development Initiative (NEPAD) led by the African leaders, has identified regional integration as one of its priorities to overcome the fragmentation of the continent and to reduce Africa's economic marginalization.

Today, one often hears of an African renaissance, and redoubled efforts to deepen regional integration are one of the hallmarks of Africa's homegrown development plans. The SSATP cannot ignore growing realization, both within the region and amongst its partners and observers, of the urgent need to accelerate and improve regional integration.

Railway Concessioning (PDF) 
Concessionning of the Ifrikya Railway -- A Case Study:
English, French
A Railway Concessioning Toolkit -- Application to African Networks:
English, French
Sub-Saharan Africa Review of Selected Railway Concessions:

Guided by past experience, there appears to be a move by the concerned countries towards more open regional arrangements as opposed to those based on import substitution, industrialization at all costs and similar autarkic, fortress-Africa strategies. Ostensibly, two complementary objectives are being pursued:

  • the establishment of a truly unified market with common procedures and institutions, giving operators and citizens the right and opportunity to work freely across borders; and
  • the promotion of improved competitiveness and diversification to enable countries to participate more effectively in the global economy and reverse the marginalization of the Continent.

Regional integration will help achieve this by consolidating sub-regional markets in order to benefit from economies of scale, wider competition and also through various mechanisms to promote policy reforms and ensure consistency in implementation and performance. And more efficient transport infrastructure and services are key to enhancing the region's competitiveness and improving access to both intra-regional and external markets, thereby setting the stage for unlocking Sub-Saharan Africa growth potential.

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