Monday, November 3, 2008

Observatory on Regional Integration in Africa

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 30, 2008

The NEPAD and Regional Integration Division (NRID) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), has developed and just launched an Observatory on Regional Integration in Africa , in close collaboration with the ECA’s Subregional Offices (SROs).

The Observatory is a Web-based, user-friendly source of knowledge and information on regional integration in Africa , which is embedded in the ECA Knowledge Management platform. It is a primary source of information to assist policy makers, member States, RECs, and all stakeholders with timely and relevant information on current progress, challenges and issues on regional integration in Africa .

The Observatory provides key information including on the protocols and treaties on regional integration in Africa and the state of their ratification; profiles of, and links to, Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs); key milestones; details of the major challenges of Africa’s regional integration; and, a host of other relevant data and information concerning this important African project.

The Observatory will continue to be expanded to provide further information on areas such as an inventory of meetings, conferences, seminars, and workshops on regional integration, upcoming events and announcements, ECA’s publications and key deliverables on regional integration, and links to various stakeholders and partners.

Another key use of the Observatory is to provide a platform for an interactive dialogue and exchange of ideas on Africa ’s regional integration process. It therefore serves as an important means and platform for promoting popular awareness of, and participation in, Africa ’s integration process.

Transparent information and knowledge about member States’ implementation of their regional integration commitments offers an avenue for stakeholders to get a sense of the performance of member States in advancing the regional integration agenda, as well as the strength of their institutions and overall ability to deliver on their commitments .

Stakeholders including the civil society, the private sector and other societal groups are often not equipped with relevant information required for comprehensive understanding of the regional integration agenda, processes, progress and challenges within their countries and regions. Nonetheless, it is through t he active involvement of all these groups that the promotion of regional integration can be felt and effectively supported at the national level.

For further information on the Observatory, please contact the Chief of Section, Regional Integration Section, NEPAD and Regional Integration Division (NRID). The specific NRID Webmaster for the Observatory is Mr Ncube Mkhululi.