Promoting cross-border initiatives: lessons, perspectives and challenges
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Nkurunziza, Janvier-Désiré;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa. Economic and Social Policy Division;
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Since the beginning of the 1990s, there has been a revival of interest in economic integration in sub-Saharan Africa. In July 1990, the first Maastricht Conference on Africa, which led to the creation of the Global Coalition for Africa, came to a consensus on the need for greater regional economic integration and cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa. Against this background, the African Development Bank, EU, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank worked out a new approach to promoting economic integration that could be supported actively by the donor community. This new approach reflected a shift away from regional industrial planning and selective tariff cuts on intraregional trade with high protective barriers vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Which had been the foundation of most of the previous integration schemes in sub-Saharan Africa. Instead, the emphasis was on "means to reduce the cost of moving productive resources, goods and services across national boundaries while maintaining openness towards the rest of the world .This culminated in 1992 in the Cross-Border Initiative (CBI) covering eastern and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean countries. The major objective of this study is to attempt to answer these questions. Furthermore, the paper evaluates lessons that can be derived from implementing CBI with a view to informing other African countries that are not participants to the scheme.